13 | NOV | 2019
His lawyer suggested he could be extradited in two months, presumably if Guzmán dropped an estimated nine appeals his lawyers have filed. (Photo: Archive / EL UNIVERSAL)

“El Chapo” changes mind, wants extradition: lawyer

02/03/2016
10:41
AP
-A +A
Guzmán asked his lawyer to negotiate with U.S. authorities for a lighter sentence and confinement at a medium-security prison.

A lawyer for drug lord Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán said Wednesday his client now wants to be extradited as soon as possible to the United States because guards at a Mexican maximum-security prison won't let him sleep.

Lawyer Jose Refugio Rodríguez said Guzmán told him to negotiate with U.S. authorities for a lighter sentence and confinement at a medium-security prison.

Rodríguez told Radio Formula Wednesday he talked to Guzmán Tuesday at the Altiplano prison west of Mexico City.

"He has reached the limit," Rodríguez said. "It is an act of desperation."

"He said to try to get a negotiation with the American government," Rodríguez said, adding, "We know of agreements with other people for confinement in medium-security prisons ... a much lower sentence."

The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City said it does not comment on extraditions.

Guzmán's lawyers had previously vowed to fight extradition as long as possible, and Mexican officials had acknowledged it would take at least a year and perhaps more for the extradition process to work its way through Mexican courts.

But Rodríguez suggested it could be done in two months, presumably if Guzmán dropped an estimated nine appeals his lawyers have filed.

However, Rodríguez said "we won't drop the (legal) defense in Mexico until we have an agreement with the United States."

Officials have acknowledged that guards at the Altiplano prison wake Guzmán every four hours for a head count. He escaped the same prison in July and was recaptured in January.

The harsher regime - Guzmán also has fewer visits than during his last stint in prison - seems to have broken him.

"I saw a defeated, humiliated man," Rodríguez said.

In February, Rodríguez gave The Associated Press a copy of Guzmán's testimony in one of the cases against him. In it, the jailed drug lord accused prison authorities of torturing him "by waking him up, and said, "I feel like a sleepwalker."

"My head and my ears always hurt and I feel bad all over," Guzmán said in the document.

The testimony also sheds light on the relatively permissive visitors' schedule Guzmán enjoyed at the maximum-security prison before his escape in July. It has been reduced since he was recaptured in January.

Guzmán said that previously he had been give an hour-and-a-half every day to talk to his lawyer and an hour in the sun in a prison patio. Every nine days, he was allowed a four-hour conjugal visit and a four-hour family visit.

National security commissioner Renato Sales, whose responsibilities include overseeing federal prisons, said at a news conference Monday that Guzmán's human rights are in no way being violated at the Altiplano prison,

Sales pointed out that Guzmán has escaped twice from Mexican prisons.

"Shouldn't someone who twice escaped from maximum security prisons be subject to special security measures? The common sense answer is yes," Sales said.

 

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