Given Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán’s talent for escaping repeatedly from maximum security prisons, several extra measures are being taken to keep him in place until his extradition to the U.S. However, now Guzmán is complaining that he’s not sleeping and guards are engaging in cruel behavior directed at him.
According to the New York Post, Guzmán’s lawyer claimed the kingpin can barely get any sleep in prison because of a “boisterous” guard dog and intrusive guards who check on him every waking hour. In a statement, Guzmán said, “I haven’t been able to sleep at all.”
Guards at the Altiplano prison where Guzmán is being kept—the same one he escaped from in July 2015—are moving him constantly from cell to cell and checking on him with increased frequency to prevent another escape. “They wake me up to take the register every hour during the day and every two hours at night, and there is a dog next to me which barks a lot and stops me sleeping,” Guzmán continued in his statement. El Chapo’s lawyer has also complained that his client has not seen his family since his incarceration, and that there are no phones in the prison cells.
As a result of these complaints, Guzmán’s lawyer filed—and won—an injunction request to “stop practices of torture, cruel or degrading treatment” by the guards directed towards his client. According to Prensa Latina, Mexico’s 13th Court approved the injunction, which applies in the event of imminent extradition and to prohibit abuse to the plaintiff—in this case, Guzmán. El Chapo claimed through his lawyer, Juan Pablo Badillo, that he was becoming “a victim of psychological aggression that threatens his emotional stability.” Badillo says that guards will now be forced to cease their “pestering actions.”
The Mexican government is trying to speed up the extradition process for Guzmán, which could take a year or longer. However, the kingpin has many legal options available to him to slow down that process, and Badillo will likely explore them all.
Sylvia Longmire is a border security expert and Contributing Editor for Breitbart Texas. You can read more about cross-border issues in her latest book, Border Insecurity: Why Big Money, Fences, and Drones Aren’t Making Us Safer.