'El Chapo' health deteriorating in US custody - lawyers

2017-03-14 10:38
Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman. (AP, File)

Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman. (AP, File)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

New York - The health of Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, one of the world's most notorious criminals, is deteriorating in US custody, his lawyers complained on Monday, challenging the conditions of his detention.

The 59-year-old, accused of running one of the world's biggest drug empires and who escaped twice from prison in Mexico, has been held in solitary confinement in New York since being extradited on January 19.

His isolation at the Metropolitan Correctional Centre in Manhattan has seen his "physical and mental health" deteriorate, wrote his American public defenders in a 24-page letter to the judge overseeing his case.

"He has difficulty breathing and suffers from a sore throat and headaches," they said.

"He has recently been experiencing auditory hallucinations, complaining of hearing music in his cell even when his radio is turned off."

His lawyers asked Judge Brian Cogan that Guzman be allowed to speak to his wife, either in person or by telephone, and be released from solitary confinement and placed in the general prison population.

Amnesty International has previously condemned conditions at the unit where he is being housed as "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and incompatible with the presumption of innocence", the letter said.

It is not the first time his legal team has complained about the draconian conditions of his incarceration.

No chance of freedom

They did so at a court hearing in Brooklyn on February 3, when Cogan declined to intervene at the time, saying it was up to the jail.

US authorities are adamant that Guzman will have no chance of freedom.

The letter said Guzman was confined to "a small windowless cell" where he remains alone, except for an hour of solitary exercise in another cell with a treadmill and stationary bicycle Monday to Friday.

His meals are passed through a slot in the door and the light is always on, it said.

Guzman shivers from a lack of warm clothing and never goes outside, the lawyers added.

On January 20 Guzman pleaded not guilty to a raft of firearms, drug trafficking and conspiracy charges at an initial hearing in New York.

If he stands trial and is convicted, he is likely to spend the rest of his life in a maximum security US prison.

Prosecutors are also seeking to obtain a $14bn criminal forfeiture order against him.

Read more on:    joaquin guzman  |  us  |  narcotics

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
 

How to get rid of fleas

Before you call in the pricey exterminators, try this DIY approach that promises to get your flea problem under control.

 
 

Paws

12 Cool cat facts
Chocolate can be fatal for dogs
Spider-man star's adorable relationship with his dog
Do you know what you are feeding your dog?
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.