El Chapo: Safehouse of drug kingpin given away as lottery prize in Mexican national lottery

A group of traditional "shouting children" called out the prize numbers for the house in Culiacan

A house owned by drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán has been given away as a prize by the Mexican government in a national lottery. It was the same property from where Guzmán, who was one of the biggest traffickers of drugs to the US, fled through guttering in 2014, when Mexican marines had him surrounded.

Before the raffle took place, the house underwent several changes, including having its exterior surveillance cameras removed, along with a hole under a bathtub the drug lord slipped through to reach a network of tunnels.

El Chapo Guzman in 2017 after being extradited to the US. Credit: AP

On Wednesday, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador gave the two-bedroom home - worth an estimated $181,000 - away as part of the national lottery, with the proceeds due to go to the country's Olympic athletes. It is the first time Mexico's lottery has given away property.

Guzmán, who escaped from a maximum-security prison in 2001, was tracked down to the safe house in February 2014 by Mexican marines.

He was arrested six days later in the city of Mazatlán, Sinaloa. In 2015, the drug kingpin escaped from jail again - this time through a tunnel dug in the showers, though he was recaptured by the authorities six months later.

CCTV of the moment infamous Mexican drug lord 'El Chapo' escaped from prison

Guzmán was extradited to the US in 2017 and sentenced to life behind bars in 2019 for a "massive drug conspiracy" that spread murder and mayhem for more than two decades.

His Sinaloa cartel was responsible for smuggling mountains of cocaine and other drugs into the United States during his 25-year reign, prosecutors have said in court papers.

In February, his wife Emma Coronel Aispuro was arrested at Dulles International Airport in Virginia on international drug trafficking charges.

She was accused of helping her husband escape from a Mexican prison in 2015 and was also “engaged in planning yet another prison escape” before Guzman was extradited to the US in January 2017, the Justice Department said.