Univision.com and Agencies
Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán has asked his lawyers to process his extradition to the United States in an urgent manner, according to his principal defense attorney, José Refugio Rodríguez Núñez.
Guzmán can no longer endure the conditions under which he is being held at Mexico’s El Altiplano maximum security prison, in Almoloya de Juárez. “He hasn’t seen the sun,” the lawyer told Univision.
“There is a chance we may succeed in having the situation reach the National Commission on Human Rights because, even though it’s true we must exhaust all legal recourses before approaching the commission, there are also exceptions,” he told Univision in an interview outside El Altiplano.
Guzmán is considered to be the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, and his defense counsel and his spouse have both alleged that the prison authorities do not let him sleep and that his health is at risk. The Mexican government maintains that his human rights are not being violated.
“It hurts me being his lawyer and not be able to guarantee his defense more. They’re slowly killing him. He’s desperate,” added Rodríguez.
Faced with this scenario, the lawyer said they will seek to negotiate with the United States a lower sentence and request a medium security jail, though that may be a long shot given Guzmán’s record.
The world’s richest and most feared drug trafficker, Guzmán was recaptured in January and sent back to El Altiplano from where he made a stunning escape via a tunnel in July 2015.
Mexican authorities say they have adopted new measures since his recapture, such as moving him constantly from one cell to another and keeping guards posted in front of his cell with helmet cameras.
Emma Coronel Aispuro, the drug trafficker’s wife, has also made written accusations that Guzmán health has deteriorated and that his life is in danger. In a letter obtained by Univision, she explained the treatment being received by “El Chapo” was a case of “vengeance” against him.
“He hasn’t been able to sleep because they’re constantly having roll call, it seems every hour on the hour (…) the people watching him do not let him talk to others or make any noise,” Coronel explained in the Feb. 15 letter.