Notorious drug trafficker Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman begged Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to save him from “cruel and unfair” treatment he’s received in U.S. prisons.
Calling it an “SOS,” attorney Jose Refugio Rodriguez told Mexican outlet Radio Formula that “Joaquin asked me through verbal messages to fight for his return to Mexico.” The lawyer added that El Chapo is “hurting” from being subjected to a trial that did not follow due process.
The Mexican president initially denied having received the plea but then said he would study it.
El Chapo is infamous for being the longtime leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel, a multi-billion dollar outfit that turned smuggling into an industrial process. The U.S. put him on trial on a host of charges, including 26 drug-related violations and a murder conspiracy.
He was convicted in New York on Feb. 12, 2019, and received a life sentence.
Prosecutors accused the drug lord of trafficking mountains of cocaine across the border into the U.S. during his nearly quarter of a century as the head of the cartel.
Guzman is currently serving his sentence at the ADX Florence Supermax in Colorado.
Convicted drug lord "El Chapo" sent a message described as an "SOS" to Mexico's president from a U.S. prison. https://t.co/kyhBRGd3Zd
— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 19, 2023
Rodriguez told Radio Formula that the once-powerful kingpin now endures “unequal” treatment at the hands of his American captors.
Specifically, the attorney related that his client “doesn’t see the sun, the food is of very bad quality, there is no healthcare; he had a problem with his molars and instead of treating them, they took them out so he wouldn’t fuss.”
Rodriguez also related that Guzman undergoes psychological torture from living in continuous isolation and being required to speak English.
The attorney claimed that he has few opportunities to speak with family and his legal team, having only been allowed six or seven calls since March 2022. His client has long asserted that his human rights were violated when he was extradited to the U.S. in 2017 to stand trial.
There is a treaty between the U.S. and Mexico that allows prison terms to be served in the inmates’ native country to be closer to their families. However, Guzman has made several high-profile escapes from custody and U.S. officials may be hesitant to turn him over to Mexican authorities.