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What motivates a notorious Mexican drug lord to escape prison not one, not two, but three times?
According to a short-lived internet hoax on Friday, Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán escaped from the prison near Ciudad Juarez where he has resided since May. Although rumors of El Chapo’s third great escape were quickly dispelled, it seemed momentarily believable given that the Sinaloa cartel leader busted free of two previous maximum security stints—once hiding inside a laundry basket and later escaping via a tunnel dug into his cell.
The internet was alive with theories on Friday; social media users were convinced they knew what had motivated El Chapo’s latest grand exit from the clutches of his captors.
El Chapo escaped to get revenge for his homie Harambe
— Senpai ✨ (@ClazWaldorf) July 8, 2016
el chapo broke out after he heard what they did to his mans harambe
— Brother Genji (@hentaigenji) July 8, 2016
El Chapo escaped so that he can avenge Harambe’s murder 🙌🏽
— lil b(oat)⛵️ (@isntbrady) July 8, 2016
El Chapo will avenge you, Harambe
— Bobby Big Wheel (@BobbyBigWheel) July 8, 2016
But while countless Twitter users remained convinced of a connection between El Chapo and Harambe, another theory took flight as hundreds of people claimed El Chapo had escaped prison in order to come to the U.S. and hunt down Mexico’s most notorious enemy: Donald Trump.
El chapo coming after Donald Trump
— ally kat (@GorgeousTooPure) July 8, 2016
Multiple other theories placed El Chapo on his way to an anti-police brutality protest in Atlanta, to Brooklyn, to drop off a birthday present, to the planet Jupiter, and most improbably—to join the Trump campaign as vice president.
El Chapo escaped again today he on his way to the protest in ATL 😏✊🏾
— God’sProdigy (@Prodigy_Pancho) July 8, 2016
El chapo better be on his way to bring my present
— M (@DowningMonya) July 8, 2016
El Chapo x Gucci Mane collab coming soon.
— Jeffrreeyy. (@jeffrreeyytho) July 8, 2016
El Chapo coming for Sean Penn!
— SquaredCircleFan (@pcbpieguy) July 8, 2016
el chapo is coming for that ass
— emotional shawty (@dreamwifey2000) July 8, 2016
BREAKING: El Chapo says he escaped prison so he could also join the Golden State Warriors.
— Fake SportsCenter (@FakeSportsCentr) July 8, 2016
Whether you believe that El Chapo is coming for “that ass” or for any number of other reasons, one thing is clear: El Chapo isn’t actually coming at all. Because he didn’t escape from prison again. But everyone needs a dream … and America’s dream is El Chapo.
Mary Emily O'Hara is an LGBTQ reporter. Her work has appeared in Rolling Stone, NBC Out, Daily Dot, Broadly, Vice, the Daily Beast, the Advocate, Huffington Post, DNAinfo, Al Jazeera, and Portland's Pulitzer Prize-winning newsweekly Willamette Week, among other outlets.