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‘El Chapo’ Guzman suffering effects of solitary confinement: Lawyers

March 15, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
‘El Chapo’ Guzman suffering effects of solitary confinement: Lawyers

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Documents filed Monday by court-appointed defense lawyers for drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman provided a glimpse into his life while he is isolated in solitary confinement.

No light, no calls, no TV, and no communication with the world outside — this summarizes Guzman’s life inside of Unit 10 South of the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, where he has remained most of the time since he was extradited from Mexico to New York on January 19th on a 17-count indictment on federal drug trafficking charges.

The infamous leader of the Sinaloa Cartel has been confined to a solitary cell, away from the general population in the facility.

His only contact has come from two visits with approved religious people, his attorneys, and the English-speaking guards with whom he occasionally communicates with through hand gestures because he doesn’t know English, according to court records.

The Mexican drug lord was extradited from Mexico to New York back on January 19th

Defense lawyers filed the documents trying to have Guzman transferred to the general population and be issued visiting privileges to talk with his wife “in person or by or telephone” to hire a private lawyer, NBC News reported.

Guzman is forbidden to have any interaction with his wife, Emma Coronel, his two daughters, or any other relatives. Federal prosecutors believe communication with his family could be utilized to send messages to the Sinaloa Cartel.

Calls with his federal defense attorneys have also been limited. In the documents, his lawyers were also critical of measures censoring any messages that El Chapo wants to pass on to his family.

Lawyers for “El Chapo” Guzman’ say jail conditions are too strict in New York

“Can we convey what we would in the normal course, that he is in poor health and low spirits? He wants relatives to deposit money in his commissary account? Or that he sends love and does not want them to worry?” the documents stated.

During the week, ‘El Chapo’ spends 23 hours a day in a cell with no windows. He is permitted one hour of solitary exercise in a separate cell that has one stationary bike and a treadmill. There is a TV in the exercise room, but he is not allowed to watch it.

Over the weekend, he is confined 24 hours a day and is not allowed any exercise. His meals are administered through a slot in the door, and he eats by himself. The light remains on all of the time.

Guzman purchased a clock from the commissary, but it was taken from him without reason, the court documents continued. “Without a window or natural light, the clock was the only way for Guzman to distinguish day from night.”

The isolation is apparently impacting ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, whose physical and mental health is deteriorating.

“He has difficulty breathing, suffers from a sore throat, and headaches. He has been experiencing auditory hallucinations, complaining of hearing music in his cell even when the radio is off,” court documents continued.

The 59-year-old is facing six separate indictments across the U.S., asserting that he transported billions of dollars in drugs into the country and laundered proceeds back to Mexico.

The charges carry a minimum sentence of life behind bars if he is found guilty. Prosecutors also intend to obtain a $14 billion criminal forfeiture order against Guzman.

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