Drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán is being held in a prison in the mountains of Colorado, one of the most secure prisons in the United States.
“In the six years that Joaquín has been in the United States, he has not seen the sun,” said El Chapo’s Mexico-based attorney José Refugio Rodríguez on Tuesday (local time). This affects the physical and mental health of the 65-year-old.
Rodríguez said El Chapo’s message, which he described as “an SOS,” was delivered by a lawyer for the drug lord in the United States and one of El Chapo’s sisters. El Chapo also expects the Mexican President to investigate violations of procedural rules that were committed in 2017 under the previous government when the drug lord was extradited to the United States.
Sentenced to life imprisonment
El Chapo is the founder of the Sinaloa drug cartel in Mexico. In 2019, he was sentenced to life imprisonment by a New York court for drug trafficking, money laundering and weapons offenses, among other things. He is now in a prison in the mountains of Colorado, one of the most secure prisons in the United States.
Rodríguez explained in an interview with Radio Formula that Guzmán was only allowed to leave his cell three times a week to move around a small area. He gets “no sun” from it. He also gets fewer visits and phone calls than other inmates.
Mexican government dampens expectations
His client suffers from “mental torment” because of the prison conditions, Rodríguez said on Radio Formula. The prison conditions also had a negative impact on Guzmán’s physical health. The lawyer stressed that Mexico must monitor Guzman’s detention conditions under an agreement with the United States.
The Mexican embassy in Washington confirmed Tuesday that it received an email from Rodríguez on Jan. 10. Without going into the content of that email, Mexican Foreign Minister Marceló Ebrard dampened expectations that the Mexican government would support El Chapo.
“He’s serving a sentence there, he got his sentence,” Ebrard told journalists about El Chapo. “So, frankly, I don’t see any options for him, but I’ll look into it with the prosecutor.”
El Chapo’s son caught
In early January, one of El Chapo’s sons was arrested in Mexico. Ovidio Guzmán, nicknamed “El Ratón” (The Mouse), is said to have helped continue his father’s drug business after his father was extradited to the United States in 2017. The US has offered a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to his arrest.
The arrest in northern Mexico killed 29 people: 10 military personnel and 19 “lawbreakers,” according to Defense Minister Luis Cresencio Sandoval.