‘El Chapo’ begins life term in ‘Supermax’ jail
July 21 2019 11:42 PM
Mexican Jose Luis Gonzalez (centre), former lawyer of imprisoned Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, scuffles with a Mexican police officer in front of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s motorcade leaving Mexico’s foreign ministry building in Mexico City yesterday.

Reuters/ Denver

Joaquin Guzman, the Mexican drug lord known as ‘El Chapo,’ entered a Colorado prison known as “the Alcatraz of the Rockies” to begin a life sentence after being found guilty of a raft of crimes including conspiracy to commit murder.
Guzman was sentenced to life in prison, plus 30 years, on Wednesday, in a federal court in the New York borough of Brooklyn.
A jury convicted him of drug trafficking and engaging in multiple murder conspiracies as the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, one of Mexico’s largest, most violent drug-trafficking organisations.
“We can confirm that Joaquin Guzman is in the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons at United States Penitentiary (USP) Administrative Maximum (ADX) Florence, located in Florence, Colorado,” the US Bureau of Prisons said in a statement.
The high-security “Supermax” prison, 185km south of Denver with about 375 inmates, has never had an escape since it opened in 1994.
Guzman twice escaped maximum-security prisons in Mexico and was re-captured in 2016.
He was extradited to the US in 2017 to face US charges.
Guzman, 62, joins a long list of notorious criminals who call the prison home.
They include “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski, September 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui, Terry Nichols from the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
The prison is nicknamed “Alcatraz of the Rockies” after the San Francisco prison whose inmates included the gangster Al Capone and convicted murderer Robert Franklin Stroud, known as the Birdman of Alcatraz.
Like other prisoners, Guzman will likely be confined for around 23 hours a day to a solitary cell that has a narrow window about 42 inches (107cm) high and angled upward so only the sky is visible.
His cell is expected to have a television, providing him access to religious services and educational programmes.
Special restrictions are used to ensure that inmates cannot exert influence or make threats beyond prison walls.
Prisoners cannot move around without being escorted.
Head counts are done at least six times a day.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Thursday called it “inhumane” for Guzman to face life imprisonment under harsh conditions.

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