The mother of notorious Mexican drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán pleaded with President Donald Trump for a “Christian and humanitarian act” ahead of his sentencing on Wednesday.
In a handwritten letter sent to the White House, 91-year-old Consuelo Loera argued her son’s human rights have been violated in the extradition process to the United States.
“My son, Mr. Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera, is arraigned before a federal judge in Brooklyn, in New York City,” she wrote. “In his extradition from Mexico to the United States, authorities violated various human rights laws established in both the U.S. and Mexican Constitution and laws.”
In her letter, Loera also requested a humanitarian U.S. visa to visit her son in prison, contradicting reports last month that such a visa had already been granted.
“In expectation of a humanitarian and Christian act of justice, I say goodbye by sending you abundant blessings and wishing that our God enlighten you in all your actions that you perform for the benefit of the American people,” she concluded.
Guzmán’s attorney, José Luis Rodríguez Meza, said in a radio interview over the weekend that they have not yet received a response despite confirmation from DHL that the letter had arrived at the White House.
“We haven’t gotten any information from the embassy but, well, we’re confident that Trump will give her the visa, at least, because it would be a humanitarian act,” he said.
In May, Guzmán’s lawyers wrote a similar letter to U.S. District Court Judge Brian Cogan, alleging that holding him in solitary confinement at a high-security facility in Lower Manhattan violated the constitutional ban on “cruel and unusual punishment.”
“Mr. Guzman is confined to a small, windowless cell, of approximately 10 x 8 feet,” reads the letter. “[He] is permitted a single hour of solitary exercise from Monday through Friday in another indoor cell that contains one stationary bicycle. On the weekends, he is not permitted any exercise.”
“[He] has been over two years now without any access to fresh air or natural sunlight. Furthermore, the light in his cell is always on, leading to serious issues of sleep deprivation,” it continues. “His detention is far more onerous than that of detainees being punished for acts of violence within the prison. These conditions are excessively punitive.”
The 62-year-old drug kingpin was found guilty in February on an array of charges, including murder conspiracy, drug trafficking, and money laundering, having been extradited to the U.S. two years ago to face charges for his role in heading up the infamous Sinaloa Cartel. At the height of his career, he is believed to have amassed a fortune of $14 billion, making him one of the wealthiest people in the world.
Guzmán will be sentenced on Wednesday, with prosecutors demanding a life sentence plus 30 years.