Drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman just wants to get a little rest. The reportedly sleep-deprived narco imprisoned at Mexico’s Altiplano lockup cites mistreatment as the main reason he now wants to be shipped post-haste to the U.S.
El Chapo not only wants to be extradited from Mexico to the United States — he wants to go sooner rather than later.
The defense team for the notorious criminal, and two-time prison escapee, has asked to speed up the process to get him out of Mexican custody and into the hands of U.S. authorities, a senior Mexican law enforcement official told CNN on Wednesday March 2.
While it’s not clear where Guzman might end up in the United States (he faces a litany of charges in various cities, like Chicago and New York), the Mexican official predicted he’ll be there within the next two to three months.
The same source had said in January that the process would take between six months and a year.
Guzman’s push to go to the United States marks a sharp turnaround from what his lawyers said immediately after he was recaptured in January, when they filed an injunction to fight any such request.
“Mr. Guzman Loera should not be extradited to the United States or any other country,” attorney Juan Pablo Badillo said then. “Mexico has just laws that are detailed in the General Constitution of the Republic.”
Lawyer: Guzman complained of ‘torture’
Right now, Guzman is being held in central Mexico’s Altiplano maximum security prison — the same place from which he escaped July. That was the second time the infamous leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel busted out of jail, the first being in 2001 when he escaped in a laundry cart.
Instead, his attorney alleges, Guzman has been subjected to “physical and mental torture.”
“He told me, literally, ‘Every two hours, at night, they wake me up to take roll. … They are turning me into a zombie. They do not let me sleep. All I want is just for them to let me sleep,’ ” attorney Badillo said.
Still, whatever they are doing with him now, Mexican authorities — who resisted U.S. attempts to have Guzman extradited — have signaled they don’t want the drug chief around much longer.
“The directive that the Attorney General’s Office has been given is to work and speed up this work to make this extradition of this highly dangerous criminal happen as soon as possible,”President Enrique Peña Nieto said in late January.