Amnesty International has made a request to speak with Mexican drug trafficker Joaquin Guzman, known as “El Chapo”, due to concerns about the conditions of his detention are unnecessarily harsh.
Guzman’s lawyers have already alerted the case judge about the conditions, which includes being held in solitary confinement 23 hours a day where he’s being held in pre-trial detention in Manhattan.
But the federal prosecutor in Brooklyn swept these concerns aside, citing one of Guzman’s Mexican lawyers who publicly stated that El Chapo’s prison treatment was much better in the United States than it was in Mexico, where he was imprisoned before his extradition on January 19. (pictured above)
In his letter to the prosecutor dated Tuesday, Amnesty International said that the authorities were under obligation to take adequate security measures, but that those currently imposed on Joaquin Guzman appear unnecessarily harsh and contravene international standards for the human treatment of prisoners.
Amnesty International’s Deputy Research Director, Justin Mazzola, listed concerns related to respiratory problems and sore throats, as well as the fact Guzman does not receive exposure to daylight.
Amnesty International also asserts that El Chapo has not been able to call or see his wife since his extradition.
Amnesty International has requested permission to visit his place of detention in order to observe the conditions of imprisonment and hold an interview with the prisoner.
El Chapo is detained in a federal institution in Manhattan, the Metropolitan Correctional Center, considered one of the safest in the United States.
While imprisoned in Mexico, Joaquin Guzman escaped twice, in 2001 and 2015, before being recaptured each time.
He is accused of leading the most powerful cartel in Mexico, which transported several thousand tons of Colombian drugs to the United States over a period of almost 25 years.
U.S. investigators estimate the revenues generated by these activities equaled $14 billion.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons (via ICE.gov)