El Chapo Escape Hoax Gets Internet Buzzing

Fake news site reporting drug lord’s third prison escape prompts flurry of reactions on social media

For the record, El Chapo has not escaped from prison again.

But some got quite a shock Sunday morning when a fake news site made to look like ABC News reported that the notoriously slippery drug lord had broken out of his third maximum security prison.

People began sharing the link immediately, offering their own commentary like, “El Chapo need a couple seasons on ‘Prison Break.'” Another user tweeted, “El Chapo be breaking outta jail like he’s The Joker at Arkham Asylum.”

However, there were a few obvious tip offs that the article was fake. Namely, the quotation attributed to a DEA spokesperson is a verbatim transcription of a speech made by Tommy Lee Jones in the 1993 movie “The Fugitive,” with the Harrison Ford character Richard Kimble’s name substituted with “El Chapo.”

El Chapo, whose real name is Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera, is the leader of the Sinaloa cartel, which controls a massive amount of the importation of marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin into the United States.

El Chapo became famous throughout Mexico for escaping from prison twice: once in 2001 by hiding in a prison laundry cart; and again in 2015 by having his men dig a mile-long tunnel underneath his cell.

Oscar winner Sean Penn recently traveled to Mexico to interview El Chapo as part of an article for Rolling Stone. Penn received serious blowback for the piece, which he himself called a “failure,” as he was trying to address issues with the U.S. war on drugs.