Rachel Uranga and Mica Rosenberg
December 12, 2011
When architect Felipe de Jesus Corona built Mexico’s most powerful drug lord a 200-foot-long tunnel under the U.S.-Mexican border with a hydraulic lift entrance opened by a fake water tap, the kingpin was impressed.
The architect “made me one f—ing cool tunnel” Joaquin “Shorty” Guzman said, according to court testimony that helped sentence Corona to 18 years in prison in 2006.
Built below a pool table in his lawyer’s home, the tunnel was among the first of an increasingly sophisticated drug transport system used by Guzman’s Sinaloa cartel. U.S. customs agents seized more than 2,000 pounds of cocaine which had allegedly been smuggled along the underground route.