(CNN Spanish) — The president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, confirmed this Wednesday that his government received a request from drug trafficker Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán to be returned to Mexico, and pointed out that this analysis is in the sphere of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In his usual morning conference, the president reported that the request was presented to the Mexican Embassy in the United States on January 10, and that his administration is going to study it, because apart from the crimes for which Guzmán has been convicted “always you have to leave the door open when it comes to human rights.”
Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, for his part, in addition to acknowledging the existence of the request, said on Tuesday: “Let’s see, but he is serving a sentence there, he has a sentence, so I don’t see possibilities for him, frankly, but I’m going to review it.” with the Prosecutor’s Office.
According to Refugio Rodríguez, one of Guzmán’s lawyers in Mexico, the convicted former leader of the Sinaloa Cartel asked López Obrador to make that request through Chapo’s sister and Mariel Colón, one of his lawyers in the United States. Guzmán is serving a sentence of life in prison plus 30 years in prison at a maximum-security federal prison in Florence, Colorado.
Guzmán was extradited during the government of then President Enrique Peña Nieto. The procedure was carried out by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, whose owner was Luis Videgaray. Rodríguez affirmed that the extradition of Guzmán to the United States “was a violation of human rights” by the government of Enrique Peña Nieto and that the rejection by the Supreme Court of Justice of two requests for amparo to prevent his surrender did not was set right.
CNN is trying to contact former President Peña Nieto and former Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray to consult them on this matter, but so far they have not been able to.
The federal judge of the Eastern District of New York, Brian M. Cogan, sentenced Guzmán Loera to life imprisonment after a jury found him guilty of being a leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, with 26 counts related to drug trafficking and one of conspiracy to commit murder.
The lawyer Rodríguez told CNN that Guzmán’s repatriation request is based on the fact that the extradition treaty with the US contemplates some possibilities for him to “return to be tried in Mexico for the federal criminal proceedings that he has pending” in his country. explains Rodriguez.
This process, he said, can be requested through the so-called “deferred surrender” before the Foreign Ministry so that the detainee who has criminal proceedings in Mexico can be returned to face the justice of his country.
Another argument from Rodríguez is the extradition of his client to New York on January 19, 2017, violated the Extradition Treaty between Mexico and the United States, explaining that the specialty clause was not applied because it allows a government to hand over a defendant. to another state, but not to one of the states that make up a country. Rodríguez refers to the fact that Guzmán had arrest warrants in the states of California and Texas and ended up being tried in the state of New York.
For Jorge Lara, internationalist lawyer, criminal lawyer, and who between 2009 and 2011 was legal deputy attorney of the then Attorney General’s Office, it is a circumstance of interpretation: “Indeed, the instruments speak of the State. We also assume that State, in the language of international law, refers to countries. But it is also true that there is extradition within the States, ”he explains. However, Lara Rivera, who led relevant extradition processes during her tenure at the PGR, also believes that the file should be reviewed to verify which court carried out and made the extradition effective in the case of Joaquín Guzmán, although she does not rule out the argument of the Chapo’s lawyer.
“There could be that possibility that the entire process had been raised before the Mexican authority to deliver it to different jurisdictions. Here also what must be asserted is that it is the federal authority of the United States that has started, the one that requested. So, it can also be a matter of internal organization, apart from the judges within the United States”, says Jorge Lara.
Rodríguez also criticized the prison situation Guzmán faces, noting that he can only enjoy one television in the prison, which is considered the highest security prison in the United States.
“He has not spoken to anyone in Spanish again except his lawyer, who visits him from time to time, with the inmates of the prison where he is, he has no tact. He is completely isolated, segregated in a cell. Occasionally they take him out once a week to an eight-foot-long patio, where the sun does not hit him, ”he added about the situation in the so-called“ Alcatraz de las Rocosas ”of who was the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel.
In response to a CNN request about the claim by Guzmán’s lawyer, the US Bureau of Prisons said they have nothing to say because it is outside their purview and would not comment on anecdotal allegations. The Bureau, which has jurisdiction over federal prisons, also said that for security and privacy reasons it would not release information on the conditions of confinement of any inmate, but assured that the BOP is committed to ensuring the security of all inmates, their staff and the public.
“The humane treatment of men and women in their custody is a priority and that allegations of misconduct are fully investigated and action taken if proven true,” the Bureau of Prisons told CNN.