(LibertySociety.com) – Joaquín Guzmán Loera (El Chapo) is possibly the most well-known drug lord in modern history. He founded the Sinaloa cartel in 1989, which is now one of the most powerful international crime organizations in the world. In January 2017, the US Department of Justice announced Mexico was extraditing El Chapo to the US to face various criminal charges in New York, including those for organized crime, weapons violations, drug trafficking, money laundering, and conspiracy to commit murder. In 2019, a federal jury found the criminal guilty and sentenced him to life plus 30 years behind bars. Now he wants out and has asked Mexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador for help.
El Chapo’s Plea
Guzmán Loera is currently serving his time at the United States Penitentiary, Administrative Maximum or Supermax. The facility is also known as the “Alcatraz of the Rockies” because of its remote and secure location nestled in the mountainous region of Florence, Colorado. According to CBS News, the prison holds some of America’s most notorious criminals, including the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski, the Boston Marathon bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, and Terry Nichols, who conspired with Timothy McVeigh to blow up a federal building in Oklahoma City.
Jose Refugio Rodriguez, one of El Chapo’s lawyers, said his client sent an “SOS” message to President Obrador, begging him to bring him back to Mexico to serve out his sentence. He claims the Supermax facility is much too harsh for him, citing the lack of sunlight and tough conditions. The drug lord said he was enduring “psychological torment.”
Obrador responded to the request saying the government would “review it,” because of El Chapo’s humanitarian claims, but CBS News noted the president’s power to grant such an ask was uncertain.
El Chapo’s Checkered Past
In 1993, authorities in Mexico arrested Guzmán Loera, sentencing him to over 20 years in prison. According to Britannica, he still ran his cartel from behind bars. Fearing the Mexican government would send him to the US, El Chapo escaped prison in 2001 and remained a free man for the next 13 years until he was again captured and imprisoned in Mexico. Soon after, he escaped again. However, his freedom would be short-lived, because in 2016 — just one short year later — the law caught up with the slippery criminal. He’s been in custody ever since.
Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard noted his escapes when talking about possible extradition back to Mexico, indicating the move back to his home country was doubtful.
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