Mexican kingpin El Chapo complains of prison conditions

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New York, Feb 16 (IANS) Mexican kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman in a letter to a judge here, complained about strict security limits on communication with his family and his prison conditions.

“It is torture 24 hours a day,” wrote the former drug lord of the Sinaloa Cartel who escaped from Mexican prisons twice and was extradited to the US on January 19, 2017, to face criminal charges.

The letter was sent on Thursday to Judge Brian Cogan after it was brought forward during a court hearing to determine the status of the trial and to review various issues before it begins in September, reports Efe news.

“Due to the rules that you authorized, I find it impossible to mount my defence,” El Chapo wrote in the letter.

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Guzman said he has not had contact with his wife since his imprisonment, either in person, on the phone or by letter, and insisted that “because of the impossibility of contact, she has not been able to help me get the funds to pay my lawyers”.

“I want to make it clear – I want my family to know that I want to go to trial. I do not have any intention to cooperate or to plead guilty.

“Judge Cogan, I ask that you please modify the rules to allow me to speak with my wife face-to-face to resolve this situation. If not, my trial will be a farce,” the drug lord said.

He also described a series of ailments in the letter.

“I suffer from headaches everyday. I vomit almost every day,” El Chapo wrote.

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He complained that his two teeth have not been fixed, that he has “not seen the sun or breathed fresh air for 13 months” and that if his cell is “not too cold, it’s too hot”.

“The light in my cell is on all hours of the day and it is difficult for me to sleep… All I ask for is a fair trial,” the former drug lord concluded.

–IANS

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