El Chapo Wants Extradition to US, Alleges Torture in Mexican Prison
El Chapo Wants Extradition to US, Alleges Torture in Mexican Prison © AP Photo/ Rebecca Blackwell
03:27 03.03.2016(updated 09:23 03.03.2016) Get short URL
Recaptured after a failed escape attempt, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is begging for extradition to the United States, citing deplorable treatment within a Mexican prison.
Drug lord Guzman, known as El Chapo, escaped from the Altiplano maximum security prison in Mexico last summer before being recaptured in early January.
Having spent the last month in a Mexican prison, he is now eager to speed up his extradition to the US.
“Try to get me extradited as fast as possible,” Guzman said, according to his lawyer, Jose Refugio Rodriguez, during an interview with Radio Formula. The notorious drug dealer added that “he can no longer take this situation.”
Rodriguez has stated that his client suffers from sleep deprivation, as prison officials wake El Chapo every four hours to make sure he’s still in his cell.
“Not allowing someone to sleep is an act of torture. I saw a desperate man, a dejected man. I found him very discouraged and in a very serious state of health,” Rodriguez said.
“He is isolated and segregated in a special area, separated from the other inmates. He told me that he was taken to a small room…but he doesn’t see the sun.”
Eduardo Guerrero, head of Mexico’s penitentiary system, addressed concerns of Guzman’s treatment in an interview with Radio Formula.
“This protocol in which attendance is called every four hours at night means that the inmate is woken up once for proof of life,” he said.
“We are not violating the rights and guarantees of any internee subjected to this type of security protocol.”
Currently being held in the same prison from which he escaped last summer, officials have taken a number of additional measures to prevent a repeat attempt. Metal rods have been installed in the floor to keep Guzman from tunneling out, and a guard is posted outside his cell at all times, with a camera on his helmet.
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has ordered the attorney general’s office to accelerate the extradition process, but stated that it could take a while.
Mexico’s Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam says it could be at least one year until the process is completed.
El Chapo made demands regarding the conditions of his imprisonment once he reaches the United States. Last week, he stated he would be willing to plead guilty, but only if he’s placed in a “medium-security” prison.