Frustrated with the conditions he has encountered in the same maximum security jail he escaped from in July 2015, the world's most infamous drug lord, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, has “begged” to be immediately extradited to the United States where he has said he will plead guilty if sent to minimum security jail, one of his lawyers said Wednesday.
El Chapo's main defense lawyer, Jose Refugio Rodriguez, told Reforma newspaper that his client can no longer stand the conditions he is living in.
"I spoke with him and he asked me ... he begged me to seek extradition to the United States as fast and as urgently as possible because he can no longer stand the situation he's living in,” Rodriguez stated.
Rodriguez said the El Chapo defense team has met to discuss initiating the necessary paperwork to have Guzman sent to the U.S. as swiftly as possible.
However, the lawyer said he has no idea where in the U.S. the Sinaloa Cartel leader would be sent to, as he faces charges in at least four states. The U.S. government is reportedly eying Brooklyn, New York, according to The New York Times.
The decision on where El Chapo will be tried in the U.S., when he is extradited, will be made by Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch, the New York Times added, saying she would likely choose Brooklyn because that is where she served prior to taking on her present job.
According to a 2014 indictment in Brooklyn, Guzman helped run the world's largest drug trafficking organization, generating “billions of dollars in profit,” which were then laundered back to Mexico.
El Chapo's extradition has gone through radical twists including his recapture on Feb. 2014 after 13 years on the run. Following his arrest, the Mexican government said it would consider sending him to the United States in about “300 to 400 years." Guzman's lawyers presented court injunction after court injunction and appeals to block any extradition, while today both the drug kingpin and Mexico City officials apparently want the move to take place as soon as possible.
Rodriguez said he's concerned for El Chapo's health, saying he hoped he would not die behind bars. He has warned his client that the extradition process will take time.
“Unfortunately, negotiating extradition is not like buying a car,” the lawyer said. “This takes times and so my question is: Will we have enough time to take Joaquin out of this jail alive and that he arrive to the United States?”
Emma Coronel, El Chapo's most recent wife, has told media in Mexico and the United States that she fears for her husband's life, while sources close to Mexican President Enrique Peña have told teleSUR that the federal government would prefer Guzman dead.