HomeNewsBrief‘El Chapo’ Team Threatens Extradition, Pushes for Better Jail Conditions
BRIEF

‘El Chapo’ Team Threatens Extradition, Pushes for Better Jail Conditions

EL CHAPO / 8 MAR 2016 BY QUENTON KING EN

Jailed Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán’s team of supporters has launched a media campaign in which, despite the rhetoric about fast-tracking the kingpin’s extradition, the objective appears to be improving his conditions in prison in Mexico, not preparing the ground for his arrival in the US. 

The campaign is mostly focused on his conditions in jail in Mexico. On Friday March 4, two attorneys on El Chapo’s legal team and a group of supporters protested outside of Altiplano, the maximum-security prison where he is currently incarcerated, claiming that the drug lord is being subjected to harsh treatment, according to the Associated Press.

In a recent interview last month with Telemundo and published in the Los Angeles Times, El Chapo’s wife Emma Coronel Aispuro claimed that her husband is “slowly being tortured” in Altiplano, the same maximum-security federal prison he escaped from in July 2015. Referring to guards at the prison, Coronel alleged, “They don’t let him sleep. He has no privacy, not even to go to the restroom.”

SEE ALSO: El Chapo Profile

The Guardian published an interview March 4, with Rosa Isela Guzmán Ortiz, who claims to be Guzmán’s oldest daughter, who also expressed concern for El Chapo’s health in prison. 

The steady campaign comes amidst mixed signals about El Chapo’s possible extradition. Last month, José Refugio Rodríguez, an attorney working on El Chapo’s defense, claimed that Guzmán was prepared to “accept his culpability for the charges that the United States seeks” so long as the US agrees to not incarcerate him in a maximum-security prison. 

This week, one of Guzmán’s lawyers, José Luís González Meza, was photographed wearing an “Extradition Never!!!” shirt adorned with a portrait of Guzmán. González Meza also called for a hunger strike in support of his client.

InSight Crime Analysis

El Chapo is seeking leverage with the Mexican government, not the US. Extradition, interviews and protests appear to be his best tools. 

Renato Sales, Mexico’s National security commissioner, said the goal of the media blitz, including the interviews with Coronel and Guzmán Ortíz and the protests on Friday, is to “make this subject a victim to loosen his security,” according to the Associated Press.

SEE ALSO: Mexico News and Profiles

The Mexican government, however, appears unfazed. Defending allegations of mistreatment in Altiplano, Rales said, “We can’t forget that Joaquín Guzmán Loera has profoundly harmed our society, his actions have caused the deaths of many Mexicans, he has poisoned our young people and destroyed entire families.”

What’s more, on extradition at least, El Chapo appears to be bluffing about his willingness to go to the US earlier rather than later. There are many who believe he would speak openly about his relationships with Mexican officials and politicians, if he were extradited. But his lawyers continue to file injunction after injunction in an effort to slow the process. And the protests seem to indicate that he thinks he will be in Mexico’s Altiplano Prison for the foreseeable future. 

If extradited to the US, Guzmán may face murder charges in New York. 

Compartir icon icon icon

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Related Content

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 10 JAN 2013

Mexico's Congress voted to formally ask the United States Senate to create a registry of all commercialized firearms in the…

KNIGHTS TEMPLAR / 12 AUG 2013

From its origins as a breakaway faction of the battered La Familia Michoacana, the quirky Knights Templar of the Pacific…

MEXICO / 13 JAN 2012

A lengthy defense of President Calderon's security policies has relied on wishy-washy cultural theories to explain Mexico's failure to confront…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…