El Chapo Wants To Serve His Sentence At Home, Does Mexico Have A Prison Secure Enough To Hold Him?

Zinger Key Points
  • El Chapo would likely be happy to serve his sentence in Mexico where he escaped from prison twice.
  • Pres. Lopez Obrador is considering the request, saying the door should stay open 'when it comes to human rights.'

Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, the billionaire Sinaloa Cartel kingpin who is serving a life sentence in a Colorado supermax prison is not happy with his digs.

So, he’s begging Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to bring him home.

El Chapo, as he is known, says he’s suffering "psychological torment," provoked by harsh prison conditions such as lousy food, isolation, lack of sunlight and subpar medical care.

How El Chapo Guzmán ended up in a U.S. prison: Guzmán was arrested in Mexico and transferred to U.S. custody in 2016. At that time the Sinaloa Cartel was supplying more than half the cocaine, heroin, meth and marijuana coming into the U.S. Today, the cartel is known to be a major producer and exporter of deadly fentanyl to the U.S. 

Is El Chapo's repatriation a real possibility? It seems that President Lopez Obrador is considering the request. "We're going to review it," he said per El País. “You always have to keep the door open when it comes to human rights.”

José Rodríguez, one of El Chapo’s lawyers, told reporters that his client wants to be repatriated to face outstanding charges and complete his sentence in Mexico under a prison agreement between the two countries.

The 1976 U.S.-Mexico prison transfer agreement allows inmates convicted in one country to serve out their sentences in their home country under certain circumstances. Given Guzmán's crimes and the risks he and the Sinaloa Cartel still pose, some say the agreement may not apply in his case.

And Then There Are The Prison Escapes... 

No doubt, El Chapo Guzmán would be delighted to serve out his sentence in Mexico where he handily escaped from prison twice, with help from both inside and outside the walls.

In July 2015, El Chapo escaped from Mexico’s top security prison, Altiplano. He slipped out through a one-mile-long tunnel that was equipped with air vents, electric lights and a motorbike on rails. Prison officials found construction tools, oxygen tanks, containers with fuel and plastic tubes among other things in the tunnel.

In 2001, after being arrested in 1993, he escaped from another maximum-security prison in a laundry cart. He was apprehended again 13 years later by Mexican marines with U.S. law enforcement backup.

The U.S., which at the time had a $5 million reward on El Chapo's head, praised his arrest as a huge blow to the cartels. Mexican officials, however, had refused the U.S.’s request for his extradition but promised to keep a good eye on him.

If Mexico ends up taking El Chapo back now, they'll need to do more than just promise to keep an eye on him.

Photo: U.S. law enforcement agency, ICE 

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Posted In: CannabisNewsMarketsFentanylJoaquín “El Chapo” GuzmánMexicoPres Andres Manuel Lopez ObradorSinaloa Cartel
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