Convicted drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman is complaining of harsh conditions at ADX Florence supermax prison, where he has been held for over three years since his sentencing in 2019.
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Speaking through his attorney José Refugio Rodríguez, Guzman claims to have been subjected to unequal treatment and “physical torture.” Top on the list of his complaints is the lack of proper food and medical care. He also complained of isolation and limited access to calls as he claims he has only been allowed six calls in about ten months.
Guzman also wishes he could be allowed to enjoy as much sunlight as he can from the prison.
All of these complaints are in addition to the psychological torture the former drug kingpin suffers as a result of being thrown in isolation constantly. He also said he is not allowed to speak his native language, Spanish.
So much is the “cruel and unfair” treatment Guzman claims to be subjected to in the Colorado prison that he is asking to be taken back to his home country to ride out the rest of his sentence.
Rodriguez alleged that his client’s trial was “not in accordance with due process.” The attorney referred to Guzman’s transfer request as “an SOS” for help as he revealed that prison staff once yanked the Sinaloa cartel boss’ teeth off when he complained of a toothache.
It is unclear if Guzman’s request to be transferred to Mexico to serve his sentence will be granted. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has, however, said that he would consider it.
Guzman’s wishes could come true under a treaty between the US and Mexico that allows Mexican inmates to complete the terms of their imprisonment there in order to be closer to their families. The transfer, however, might not be the best move considering Guzman’s notoriety with prison breaks.
The first time he was captured in 1993, he was able to avoid the 20-year prison sentence handed down to him in Mexico. With the help of corrupt prison officials who were in his pocket, he broke out in 2001.
He was re-arrested in 2014 in Mexico but escaped prison for the second time in 2015 after he stepped into the shower and never came back outside. Authorities would later discover a sophisticated escape tunnel that linked to the shower area of his cell.
His freedom wasn’t for long as Mexican authorities captured him again about a year later, in 2016, after a shootout.
Following extradition to the U.S., he was found guilty of a number of drugs, money laundering, and weapon crimes and sentenced to life imprisonment plus 30 years.