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Judge grants appeal filed by “El Chapo” Guzman for extra blanket

December 17, 2016  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Judge grants appeal filed by “El Chapo” Guzman for extra blanket

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Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán, the kingpin of the Sinaloa cartel who is currently behind bars in the Mexican border state of Chihuahua, awaiting extradition to the United States, filed an appeal for an extra blanket last week, protesting that one was not enough to fight off the cold this winter.

According to Univision, attorneys for the drug lord complained in a legal court filing about the ill-treatment Guzman is receiving and claimed their client is suffering from a bitter chill.

As a result, Guzman’s legal team have requested a judge grant the proper amenities so that he can keep warm.

“My client recounted that he was very cold and is scared of the cold that we have in this city [Ciudad Juarez],” Silvia Rocio Delgado-Garcia Delgado, one of Guzmán’s attorneys, said earlier this week.

The blanket Guzmán has in his prison cell “is very thin and insufficient,” Delgado added.

A Chihuahua state judge accepted the appeal, one of his attorneys said.

“We were granted (the court order) because his individual rights were attacked. He had one very thin blanket, but last night he was given another one,” the attorney added.

So far this month, Ciudad Juarez has seen daily high temperatures of around 40-50 degrees, with lows in the 30s and 40s. In January, the city averages highs in the 50s and lows in the low 30s. Guzmán was abruptly transported to a prison in this area in May.

“It’s incredible that we have to resort to moving everything to a federal court to ask for a blanket,” Delgado continued.

Guzmán and many around him have filed a myriad of complaints against prison officials regarding the treatment he’s received since his apprehension back in January.

When he remained in the custody of the Altiplano prison — which he broke out of in July 2015 and was returned to in January — Guzmán complained that officers woke him up at night for inspections and had K9s testing his food for poison.

Now, behind bars in Federal Social Readaptation Center Number 9, located south of Ciudad Juarez, the drug lord has allegedly been guarded by as many as 75 agents, with 600 additional soldiers and police officers outside, guarding the border of the prison.

“El Chapo” has remained in isolation, and his attorneys have criticized the treatment as “cruel” and “inhumane” and argued, “it could end his life.”

In early December, Guzmán, speaking through his legal team, asked for a meeting with Mexican Interior Secretary Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong because he wanted to ask federal officials to “respect his human rights.”

Guzmán’s legal objections to the treatment he is receiving occur as the extradition proceedings against him appear to be concluding.

The Mexican foreign ministry authorized his transfer to the U.S. earlier this year, and a judge signed the paperwork in October. While Guzmán’s legal team has pledged to keep fighting in court, officials have indicated they expected the process of “El Chapo’s” extradition to be completed in early 2017.

The kingpin’s complaints about his treatment in prison may be part of an attempt to slow the judicial processes that are not going in his favor.

“Apparently the Supreme Court is reluctant to hear a final appeal from his attorneys,” Mike Vigil, the former chief of international operations for the DEA and author of “Metal Coffins: The Blood Alliance Cartel,” told Business Insider in November.

He continued, “Right now what they’re trying to do is, make it appear that Chapo Guzman is being tortured, mistreated, or he’s extremely sick, and that is going to be the final ploy they use to try to keep him in Mexico.”

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