Mexican President Says He’ll Consider ‘El Chapo’ Request

Jan 19, 2023
10:25 AM

In this February 22, 2014 file photo, Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, the head of Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel, is escorted to a helicopter in Mexico City following his capture in the beach resort town of Mazatlán, Mexico. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said on Wednesday, January 18, 2023, that the government will analyze El Chapo’s request to be returned to Mexico to carry out his life prison sentence. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo, File)

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s president said Wednesday his government will consider a plea by imprisoned drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán to be returned to Mexico, presumably to serve out his sentence.

Guzmán, 64, was sentenced to life behind bars in the United States for a drug conspiracy that spread murder and mayhem for more than two decades.

Guzmán has lived in poor conditions in prison since his 2019 conviction, said José Refugio Rodríguez, a Mexican lawyer who claims to represent him. Rodríguez told local media that Guzmán hasn’t had adequate access to sunlight, visits, good food, or medical care.

The Mexican Embassy in Washington said on its Twitter account that it had received an email from Rodríguez about the issue and had turned it over to Mexico’s Secretariat of Foreign Affairs.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said “we will review it,” adding: “You always have to keep the door open when it comes to human rights.”

The U.S. and Mexico have a prison transfer agreement that allows inmates convicted in one country to serve out their sentence in their home country under certain circumstances. But given Guzman’s crimes, his sentence, and the risks he purportedly still poses, many doubt the agreement would apply in his case.