When the Mexican government recaptured drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán and placed him (yet again) in a maximum security prison, there were a number of reasons why officials may have said they couldn’t process his extradition any faster. For one, Guzmán himself tried to block the extradition.
Now he seems to have had a change of heart. Reuters reported that today (March 2), Guzmán’s lawyers said the inmate is attempting to speed up his extradition to the United States in hopes he might find better prison conditions over the border.
Guzmán has complained that Mexican prison guards wake him up every two hours and are turning him into a zombie, his lawyers told Mexico’s Radio Formula (link in Spanish) earlier last month. “I just want them to let me sleep,” El Chapo has said. Before this stint in custody, the notorious drug kingpin escaped from Mexican prison twice—once in 2001, and again in 2015, embarrassing the Mexican government over three presidential administrations. In his latest escape, Guzmán snuck out through a mile-long underground tunnel, then hid out in his home state of Sinaloa.
According to Reuters, Guzmán has also complained about his communication privileges in prison, as well as his cell room being too cold. This week, his wife Emma Coronel Aispuro made the case to a national human rights organization that the prison has been abusing her husband (link in Spanish).
One of his lawyers, Juan Pablo Badillo, told Reuters when he spoke to Guzmán last month that his client was keen on starting the extradition process to the US. Badillo added that the process would “definitely need to be subject to an agreement” with Mexico’s neighbor to the north.