Mexico President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, in his year-end address, criticized the preceding administrations for allowing imprisoned drug lord Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzman wield the same ‘power’ and ‘influence’ as a country’s leader.

Lopez Obrador claimed that El Chapo’s arrest was delayed due to the involvement of high-ranking government officials in bribery and corruption.

‘There was a time when Guzmán Loera had the same power or had the influence that the then-president had…Because there had been a conspiracy and that made it difficult to punish those who committed crimes,” the leftist president said in a video message posted on Twitter.

According to reports, former public safety secretary Genaro García Luna was bribed with millions of dollars by El Chapo, giving the latter’s illegal organization the freedom to operate.

Lopez Obrador earlier said that US authorities will be tapped to investigate further about Luna’s case who moved to the United States back in 2012. But he has clarified that former President Felipe Calderon, who was the leader during the wake of the bribery scandal, will no longer be probed.

El Chapo’s legendary power and influence proved to be factual as he was able to evade several manhunts and escape twice from Mexican high-security prison facilities.

The drug lord is now sentenced to life in prison after being convicted on drug conspiracy charges in New York.

In addition to Lopez Obrador’s speech delivered in the southern city of Palenque, he said that he has already put an end to the complicity between crimes and government noting that the rampant corruption in their country has been curbed.

“That has already become history, gone to the garbage dump of history. That will never occur,’ the president said. 

The Mexican leader also reported his administration’s challenges and accomplishments in its first year including the anti-corruption initiative which he described as a “point of pride.”