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Workers demolishing Mexican drug lord’s mansion discover tunnel


Underground tunnel is found at Mexican mansion belonging to Mexico’s ‘Lord of the Skies’ drugs kingpin who died aged 40 while undergoing plastic surgery

  • Demolition workers in Sonora, Mexico, found an underground tunnel at a mansion once owned by Mexican drug lord Amado Carrillo
  • Workers have been clearing the site of the residence, built in 1992, since September and discovered the passage way while removing debris Saturday
  • Carrillo, nicknamed ‘Lord of the Skies’ made at least $25 billion using a fleet of planes to smuggle cocaine as the leader of the Juárez Cartel
  • Carrillo died at the age of 40 while undergoing plastic surgery at a hospital in Mexico City 

By Adry Torres For

Published: | Updated:

Demolition workers have unearthed an underground tunnel while knocking down the Aladdin-style mansion of notorious Mexican drug lord Amado Carrillo Fuentes – 23 years after he died while undergoing plastic surgery to evade capture. 

The passageway was discovered Saturday while bulldozers were clearing debris from the demolition of the palace in the city of Hermosillo, in Sonora, Mexico.

The property had fallen into disrepair in the years since Carrillo’s death and authorities had ordered it knocked down.

Carrillo was nicknamed the ‘Señor de los Cielos’, or ‘Lord of the Skies’, because of the massive fleet of planes he used to transport cocaine purchased from Pablo Escobar and the Cali Cartel. His rise as a capo is featured in Netflix‘s hit series Narcos: Mexico. 

Carrillo originally purchased a property on the plot of land from the Ciscomani family and ordered it demolished just a few days after completing the transaction. 

In 1992, he started building his own mansion, which was inspired by Scheherazade, the major female character in the Middle Eastern tales known as ‘One Thousand and One Nights’. The stories, known in English as ‘Arabian Nights’ feature ‘Aladdin’s Wonderful Lamp’ and ‘Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves’.

A construction worker removes debris from Amado Carrillo’s old mansion in Sonora, Mexico

Work to demolish Amado Carrillo’s mansion has been ongoing since late September

The Aladdin-style mansion was covered from top to bottom in graffiti writing after falling into disrepair. Part of the mansion’s structure was famously inspired by on Scheherazade, the major female character in the Middle Eastern tales known as ‘One Thousand and One Nights’

A construction worker stands in the underground passageway that was discovered Saturday while workers demolished the mansion

Carrillo’s luxury home, which he dubbed ‘Mil y Una Noches’, Spanish for the tales he was a fan of, featured multiple rooms, each containing its own dressing room made out of cedar. 

The mansion had several hot tubs with mirrors and silver finishes and a swimming pool. 

But it was also criss-crossed with secret tunnels underground, including the one that was discovered while it was being demolished.

The passage is located close to the main entrance, with seven-feet-tall ceilings and is 200 feet long in the shape of a square, according to El Universal.

Mexico’s Attorney General confiscated the residence in November 1993. 

A judge later refused to stop the seizure after a motion was filed by a lawyer on behalf of Dr. Juan Mexía, whose name appeared on the deed instead of Carrillo’s.

Carrillo’s family was eventually was able to regain control of the mansion several years later.

Aerial view of Mexican drug lord Amado Carrillo’s mansion in the Sonora city of Hermosillo before it was demolished

The underground tunnel was one of many that had been built at the mansion 

Amado Carrillo was able to build a $25 billion empire off of cocaine trafficking and distribution before he died while undergoing plastic surgery at a hospital in Mexico City in 1997 as he sough to change his physical appearance and avoid being captured by Mexican and United States authorities

But it was left unoccupied and eventually drew the attention of drug addicts, who settled inside its massive walls. 

Over time the fancy home fell into a deplorable condition and was covered with graffiti from top to bottom.

The Mil y Una Noches mansion was eventually put up for sale in 2006 and was never purchased. 

In 2009, Sonora Governor Eduardo Bours ordered the mansion demolished. 

However, it was not until late September this year that construction workers were sent in to knock down Carrillo’s palace.

Amado Carrillo’s mansion was built in 1992 but confiscated by Mexico’s Attorney General a year later. The family would regain control of it many years later but it was left abandoned

Demolition of Amado Carrillo’s mansion was ordered by the governor of Sonora in 2009 but it was not until September 2020 that work began to knock down the home that was built in 1992

Notorious Mexican drug lord Amado Carrillo’s mansion was abandoned after his death in 1997

The mansion that was seized from Amado Carrillo and later returned to his surviving family members was put up for sale in 2006 but went unsold 

Carrillo was groomed in the narco business by his uncle, Ernesto Fonseca, one of the four co-founders of the infamous Guadalajara Cartel.  

Carrillo went on to build a $25 billion empire as the leader of the Juárez Cartel but as the United States and Mexico authorities closed in on him, he decided to change his physical appearance to throw them off. 

He died while undergoing facial plastic surgery and an abdominal liposuction at a Mexico City hospital on July 4, 1997 .

In November 1997, the bodies of two of the surgeons involved in the procedure were found encased in concrete inside steel drums. 

Construction to demolish the massive mansion built by Mexican drug lord Amado Carrillo was initially ordered in 2006 but it was not until September 2020 that workers were finally able to tear it down


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