You know the old saying, “Don’t do the drug trafficking, become the world’s largest drug dealer, order the murder of “two or three thousand,” commit mass money laundering crimes if you can’t do the time.” Well, someone should have told Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman this idiom because he doesn’t care for prison life very much and has said that it has made him “depressed.”
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According to his lawyers and a psychiatrist who recently visited him, El Chapo is depressed, suffering hallucinations and has had memory loss because of the harsh conditions in the maximum-security prison are too harsh.
The leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, who made the Forbes list of billionaires in 2013, complained on several occasions about his accommodations. In the doctor’s report, said the psychological conditions were worse than any physical violence.
In the doctor’s report, Guzman described a prison cell where the lights are kept on 24 hours a day and his only human contact is with masked guards. He complained of being awoken every four hours to appear on camera for an inmate roll call.
“They do not let me sleep,” said Guzman.
“He doesn’t know when is day and when is night,” said his attorney, said José Refugio Rodríguez, El Chapo’s lawyer. “He lives in constant anguish.”
Guzman told his doctor that since moving to a maximum-security prison in Juarez earlier this year, “everything has become hell.”
Refugio said he received “a desperate message” from Guzman on Friday saying he was suffering hallucinations and “felt he was going to die.”
“They have not beaten me, but I would prefer that,” he said.
“Joaquin Guzman does not want a five-star hotel, he doesn’t want a spa, he just wants to be treated like a human being,” said Rodríguez.
Guzman’s wife, Emma Coronel, said her husband’s condition is steadily declining and that he believes he won’t live long enough to be extradited because prison officials are not attending to his health. He told her he would likely be dead by December if the conditions stay the same.
Guzman’s legal team has filed numerous appeals to stop El Chapo’s extradition to the U.S., which Mexican officials hope to carry out as soon as January.
Coronel filed a complaint Monday with the National Human Rights Commission on Monday.
Guzman is in complete isolation from other prisoners and has limited visits from outside visitors. The complaint states that these conditions are inflicting “irreparable” psychological damage. She said conditions could kill him or make him “go crazy” in a matter of months. She also complained that her conjugal visits with her husband had been reduced to two hours a week, from four. Mexican officials deny Guzman’s rights are being violated, and suggest the reports of his treatment are a strategy to slow his extradition to the United States to face a lengthy list of charges in several states.
National Security Commissioner Renato Sales Heredia said Guzman had received 35 visits from family members and 33 visits from his lawyers since being transferred to the Juarez prison.
“The truth is he has not been subjected to torture, of course, or any degrading or inhuman treatment,” said Sales. He went on to say that El Chapo’s isolation is the same as other high profile criminals.
The moral of the story is don’t do the crime, if you can’t do the time.