Passport

El Chapo: I Can’t Sleep, Please Extradite Me to the U.S.

Notorious drug-lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman is requesting immediate extradition to the United States.

Drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is escorted into a helicopter at Mexico City's airport on January 8, 2016 following his recapture during an intense military operation in Los Mochis, in Sinaloa State. Mexican marines recaptured fugitive drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman on Friday in the northwest of the country, six months after his spectacular prison break embarrassed authorities.   AFP PHOTO / ALFREDO ESTRELLA / AFP / ALFREDO ESTRELLA        (Photo credit should read ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images)
Drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is escorted into a helicopter at Mexico City's airport on January 8, 2016 following his recapture during an intense military operation in Los Mochis, in Sinaloa State. Mexican marines recaptured fugitive drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman on Friday in the northwest of the country, six months after his spectacular prison break embarrassed authorities. AFP PHOTO / ALFREDO ESTRELLA / AFP / ALFREDO ESTRELLA (Photo credit should read ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images)

Mexican drug-lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman has experience making dramatic prison breaks. His most recent, which got him out of Altiplano Prison near Mexico City last year, included climbing through a hole in his shower cell to a mile-long tunnel equipped with a motorcycle on a rail.

Because he’s been through this whole prison thing before, Guzman may have thought that when he was caught and returned to the same prison in January he might just be left alone. Instead, prison guards have been keeping a close eye on him, waking him up every four hours to check that Guzman is still there.

And the notorious leader of the deadly Sinaloa drug cartel has apparently had enough of these disruptions. On Wednesday, just days after claiming he would only want extradition to the United States if it were to a medium-security prison, José Refugio Rodríguez, Guzman’s lawyer, said his client was so frustrated by his treatment in the Mexican prison that he wanted to leave for the U.S. as soon as possible.  

Mexican drug-lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman has experience making dramatic prison breaks. His most recent, which got him out of Altiplano Prison near Mexico City last year, included climbing through a hole in his shower cell to a mile-long tunnel equipped with a motorcycle on a rail.

Because he’s been through this whole prison thing before, Guzman may have thought that when he was caught and returned to the same prison in January he might just be left alone. Instead, prison guards have been keeping a close eye on him, waking him up every four hours to check that Guzman is still there.

And the notorious leader of the deadly Sinaloa drug cartel has apparently had enough of these disruptions. On Wednesday, just days after claiming he would only want extradition to the United States if it were to a medium-security prison, José Refugio Rodríguez, Guzman’s lawyer, said his client was so frustrated by his treatment in the Mexican prison that he wanted to leave for the U.S. as soon as possible.  

“I spoke with him and he asked me, he pleaded with me to look for the quickest way possible of processing extradition because he can no longer stand the situation he’s experiencing,” Rodríguez said Wednesday, according to the Mexico City-based Reforma newspaper.

Guzman’s request marks a change in heart for the notorious drug lord, whose earlier escapes were in part attempts to avoid extradition to the United States. The 61-year-old is apparently so uncomfortable that even his wife appeared on the Spanish-language Telemundo television network to explain how he is even monitored while he’s showering due to his earlier escape.

Last month, in a document about his case obtained by the Associated Press, Guzman complained that he felt “like a sleepwalker” because he wasn’t getting enough rest.

What were once complaints about his treatment in Mexico have now morphed into a desire to come to the U.S. for his day of reckoning in an American courtroom. Washington wants to extradite Guzman due to his role in drug trafficking across the southern border with Mexico. The Sinaloa cartel is thought to have killed at least 10,000 people while vying for control of Ciudad Juarez, in northern Mexico.

That might be worth it for a good night’s sleep — even if it’s on a prison cot somewhere in the U.S.

“My head and my ears always hurt and I feel bad all over,” Guzman said in the same document.

Photo Credit: ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images

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