Son of Mexican drug lord busts out of prison

The son of a founder of the powerful Sinaloa drug cartel broke out of a prison in northern Mexico on Thursday, local prison officials said.

Juan Jose Esparragoza -- son of the drug lord of the same -- escaped with four other inmates from a prison in Culiacan, the capital of the northwestern state of Sinaloa, deputy head of state public security Cristobal Castaneda told AFP.

Esparragoza's father founded the powerful criminal syndicate along with Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman - currently jailed in the United States - and Ismael Zambada.

Government sources say they believe the younger Esparragoza was being groomed to lead the cartel after Guzman's arrest and extradition.

When Esparragoza was captured in January, National Security Commissioner Renato Sales said he was suspected of managing the cartel's finances and coordinating a distribution network.

Sales also said that Esparragoza was a "generator of violence" in Mexicali and Tijuana, two cities on the border with the US state of California.

Guzman, the cartel's notorious leader, escaped from a Mexican prison in 2001, was re-arrested in 2014, then escaped a maximum security prison through a tunnel the following year. He was recaptured in January 2016 and extradited to the United States a year later.

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