All Latin American drug lords have one fear in common: extradition to the United States.
But Mexican drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán reportedly wants to go to serve out his sentence in a U.S. prison.
“Try to obtain my extradition as fast as possible; try to see how we can talk to the American government,” Chapo reportedly told his attorney, José Refugio Rodriguez, who spoke with Radio Fórmula. Rodriguez said prison guards are not allowing Chapo to sleep and that his client “can no longer stand it.”
The lawyer's statement seems to support recent claims by Chapo's wife that Mexican authorities are abusing the imprisoned drug lord.
“They are there all day, doing cell checks each hour. They don’t let him sleep, he doesn’t even have privacy to go to the bathroom,” Emma Coronel, the kingpin's wife, said in a recent interview with Telemundo.
The claims of abuse prompted Mexico’s National Security Commissioner Renato Sales to release a statement insisting that Chapo’s human rights are being protected and that the inmate is "sleeping perfectly." Sales, did, however say the drug lord is being subjected to “special surveillance measures” because of his history of escaping prison.
Chapo's lawyer told Radio Fórmula that if his client gets extradited he could plead guilty in exchange for a reduced sentence in the United States, something that would infuriate Mexican officials and the Mexican public opinion.
The U.S. Department of Justice declined to comment on the matter.
In late January, President Enrique Peña Nieto said he gave instructions to “accelerate” Chapo's extradition, but it’s unclear how far along the process is.