What does El Chapo eat in prison
Drug boss "El Chapo" imprisoned for life
The official sentence is life plus 30 years imprisonment. Judge Brian Cogan said the convict was not allowed to apply for early release. The court also asked Guzmán to pay a sum of 12.6 billion dollars (around 11.2 billion euros). This is a "conservative estimate" of the amount he took from drug crime, the public prosecutor had previously announced.
The death penalty permitted under federal law was ruled out from the outset following an agreement between the United States and Mexico, from where Guzmán was extradited after his arrest.
New procedure rejected
Before the sentence was announced, Guzmán had one last opportunity to comment. He said he was denied a fair trial. Guzmán's defense lawyers had tried unsuccessfully to reopen the case until the very end. The background is a media report that members of the jury jury followed the coverage during the trial. This would have made them aware of prejudicial allegations that could not be used in the trial. However, a judge rejected the defense attorney's request for a new trial. According to him, the burden of proof against the drug lord was stifling anyway.
Guzmán's wife Emma Coronel Aispuro also came to New York to deliver the verdict
Guzmán, nicknamed "El Chapo" (the short one) because of his height of 1.64 meters, was found guilty of all ten counts in one of the largest drug-related trials in US history in February - including involvement at a criminal organization, production and international distribution of the drugs cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana as well as for money laundering and the use of firearms.
The Mexican is considered the most powerful drug lord since the Colombian Pablo Escobar. For years he was the head of the infamous Sinaloa cartel. Large-scale drug smuggling, arms trafficking and money laundering were the main business areas of the 62-year-old, who, according to witness statements, hired contract killers, among other things, and who is said to have been involved in murder and torture himself.
"El Chapo" is adored by many Mexicans - an alleged daughter sells a clothing line under his name
54 witnesses testified in the mammoth trial, including former partners and employees as well as an ex-lover. Most are also held in US prisons. According to the testimony, Guzmán ordered the kidnappings and killings of competitors or police officers who refused to be bribed. The drug lord had gathered around a hundred bodyguards who had pistols, automatic weapons, grenades and even rocket launchers.
According to one witness, the Mexican ex-President Enrique Peña Nieto received bribes in the millions, along with many others. The former Peña Nieto office manager denied the allegations.
An escape from the maximum security Florence prison seems unlikely - but also impossible?
Guzmán is currently incarcerated in a maximum security prison in the Manhattan neighborhood of New York. The drug lord had previously managed to break out of Mexican prisons twice: in 2001 he escaped in a laundry basket and in 2015 through a tunnel that accomplices had dug under his cell.
Maximum security prison is waiting
He will presumably not have such a chance in the USA. Guzmán is expected to be held in an extremely secure detention center in a remote area of the Rocky Mountains. The "ADX Florence" in the state of Colorado is described by some as hell on earth because of its harsh prison conditions. The institution, which was built in 1994, specializes in the extreme isolation of prisoners, according to the human rights organization Amnesty International.
According to Amnesty, most inmates only have contact with their fellow inmates during the daily up to two hours "recovery time" during which they can exercise their physical fitness. The inmates, who are considered to be particularly dangerous, are therefore locked individually in cages in a courtyard for these exercises, which are not much larger than their approximately 7.50 square meter cells.
Through this hole in a shower cubicle, Guzmán escaped from a Mexican prison in 2015
Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán had already complained repeatedly about his previous conditions in the New York prison. He was able to fight for a thicker blanket in court, but he was denied the earplugs he wanted. In his last statement immediately before the sentence was announced, the drug lord described his imprisonment in the USA as "psychological, emotional and mental torture".
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