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Lawyer: El Chapo was whisked away within hours of sentencing

Lawyer: El Chapo was whisked away within hours of sentencingHours after receiving a life sentence, convicted Mexican drug kingpin Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán was forced to make a sudden departure to the highest-security prison in the U.S. to serve the term, his lawyer said Thursday.



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El Chapo: Mexico president calls life sentence ‘inhumane’ as drug lord moved to supermax prison

El Chapo: Mexico president calls life sentence ‘inhumane’ as drug lord moved to supermax prisonThe Mexican president has described Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s life sentence as “inhumane” after the notorious drug lord was sent to live out his remaining years in a supermax prison in Colorado.Guzman was sentenced to life behind bars in the US plus 30 years after being found guilty of running a murderous criminal enterprise, having already escaped Mexican prisons twice.In his home country, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador referred to sentences like the one handed to Guzman to be served in a “hostile jail” as "hard” and “inhumane", adding that it made life no longer worth living.The 62-year-old had been protected by an army of gangsters under the Sinaloa cartel, which he founded in 1989, up until his most recent incarceration.In 1993 he was sentenced to 20 years in prison in Mexico, however he was able to bribe guards to receive favourable treatment while also managing the cartel from inside his cell through his brother, who ran the cartel in his absence.In 2001 he escaped from the maximum-security Puente Grande prison in Jalisco, reportedly in a laundry basket.Some 13 years later he was imprisoned for a second time, but escaped again through a tunnel running 30ft beneath the Toluca prison showers to a house under construction a mile away.In 2016 he was arrested after a gunfight in Los Mochis before being extradited to the US, where he has remained since.Guzman has lodged frequent complaints about the conditions of his detention in the US, describing it as “torture”.Just hours after his sentencing, Guzman was flown by helicopter to USP Florence Admax, a top security prison in Colorado dubbed the “Alcatraz of the Rockies”.His fellow prisoners include the “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski, 9/11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui and Terry Nichols, who was convicted of being an accomplice in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.“I drink unsanitary water, no air or sunlight, and the air pumped in makes my ears and throat hurt,” he said at his sentencing. “This has been psychological, emotional and mental torture 24 hours a day.” It comes as the Mexican president, who took office in December last year, introduces a militarized police force to help limit violence across the country as cartels splinter and smaller groups fight to consolidate territory.In 2016 the drug wars in the country made it the second deadliest place in the world, while in 2018 Mexico broke its own homicide record with 28,816 murder cases opened across the year.Mr Obrador added: “I also have many victims in mind, it’s something very painful.”An opinion poll hosted by Mexican newspaper Reforma found that 52 per cent of people surveyed believed Mr Obrador’s attempts to limit crime in the country were lacking, while 55 per cent said they believed he was failing to reduce violence in the country.



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Lawyer: El Chapo was whisked away within hours of sentencing

Lawyer: El Chapo was whisked away within hours of sentencingOnly hours after receiving a life sentence, convicted Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman was forced to make a sudden departure to the highest-security prison in the U.S. to serve the term, his lawyer said Thursday. A government helicopter whisked the narco, notorious for his daring jailbreaks, out of New York City on Wednesday after the sentencing in federal court in Brooklyn, said defense attorney Jeffrey Lichtman. For most defendants, there's a lag between sentencing and a decision by the Bureau of Prisons on where to house them.



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El Chapo: US prosecutors want Mexican drug lord to forfeit $12.7bn following conviction

El Chapo: US prosecutors want Mexican drug lord to forfeit $  12.7bn following convictionUS prosecutors are seeking to recover $ 12.7bn (£10.1bn) from the Mexican drug lord El Chapo following his conviction for racketeering and drug trafficking crimes. The "conservative" estimate represents the total amount of cocaine, cannabis and heroin a jury found Joaquin Guzman to have trafficked into the US, multiplied by the average prices of the drugs, according to a filing by prosecutors in federal court.The US Attorney's Office in Brooklyn asked a judge to order Guzman to forfeit the massive sum. It was not immediately clear what assets, if any, the US could seize to satisfy the judgment. A spokesman for the prosecutors declined to comment."This is largely an academic exercise as the government has never located or identified a penny of this $ 12.7bn in proceeds supposedly generated by Mr Guzman," said Jeffrey Lichtman, a lawyer for the drug lord.Guzman, 62, was convicted in February on all 10 counts he faced, after jurors heard evidence from more than 50 prosecution witnesses offering an unprecedented look at the inner workings of his Sinaloa Cartel.He faces life in prison at his scheduled 17 July sentencing.US district judge Brian Cogan denied his motion to set aside the verdict and hold a new trial which Guzman's lawyers had argued that a new trial was needed after Vice News published an interview with one of the jurors, who said that the jury disobeyed court orders during the case.Guzman made a name for himself in the 1980s by building cross-border tunnels that allowed him to move cocaine from Mexico into the US faster than anyone else.He spent much of his career on the run, moving from one hideout to another in the mountains of Sinaloa, guarded by a private army, and twice escaped from maximum-security Mexican prisons.He was finally captured in January 2016 and extradited to the US to face trial.Despite Guzman's arrest, the Sinaloa Cartel still has the biggest US distribution presence of Mexican cartels, followed by the fast-growing Jalisco New Generation Cartel, according to the US Drug Enforcement Administration.Together, they are the biggest producers of drugs sold on US streets.Additional reporting by Reuters



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Make El Chapo pay for a border wall? Don't count on it

Make El Chapo pay for a border wall? Don't count on itNEW YORK (AP) — After El Chapo's conviction in a drug-trafficking trial that included florid testimony of jewel-encrusted guns, a fleet of cash-laden jets and a personal zoo with roaming big cats, some Americans have floated an idea they see as poetic justice: Why not take some of the Mexican drug lord's billions in ill-gotten gains and make him pay for a border wall?



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El Chapo will be sent to prison known as ‘Alcatraz of the Rockies’, former supermax warden says

El Chapo will be sent to prison known as ‘Alcatraz of the Rockies’, former supermax warden saysMexican drug kingpin Joaquin Guzman, known as “El Chapo,” will likely be sent to a supermax prison in Colorado after being convicted on 10 drug-trafficking charges on Tuesday. Federal prosecutors said they will ask for Guzman, who twice escaped prison in Mexico, to be given a life sentence without a chance for parole. Given the drug lord’s violent decades-long career smuggling tons of narcotics in the United States, it is likely Guzman will be sent to a federal supermax prison.



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El Chapo tearful in footage released after conviction for running multibillion-dollar drug empire

El Chapo tearful in footage released after conviction for running multibillion-dollar drug empireFootage has emerged of Mexican drug lord El Chapo in tears as he arrived in the US following his arrest in 2017. The 61-year-old, whose real name is Joaquin Guzman, was convicted on Tuesday of running a major criminal enterprise smuggling drugs worth billions of dollars into the US. In the wake of his conviction, the US Justice Department released a video showing him staring blankly out of an aeroplane window, before wiping away a tear upon disembarking.



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El Chapo trial: Mexican drug lord Joaquín Guzmán found guilty and faces life in prison

El Chapo trial: Mexican drug lord Joaquín Guzmán found guilty and faces life in prisonMexico’s most notorious drug lord, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, was convicted Tuesday of running an industrial-scale smuggling operation after a three-month trial packed with Hollywood-style tales of grisly killings, political payoffs, cocaine hidden in jalapeno cans, jewel-encrusted guns and a naked escape with his mistress through a tunnel. Guzman faced a drumbeat of drug-trafficking and conspiracy convictions that could put the 61-year-old escape artist behind bars for decades in a maximum-security US prison selected to thwart another one of the breakouts that embarrassed his native country. New York jurors whose identities were kept secret reached a verdict after deliberating six days in the expansive case, sorting through what authorities called an “avalanche” of evidence gathered since the late 1980s that Guzman and his murderous Sinaloa drug cartel made billions in profits by smuggling tons of cocaine, heroin, meth and marijuana into the US.



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What El Chapo can expect inside the 'Alcatraz of the Rockies'

What El Chapo can expect inside the 'Alcatraz of the Rockies'His tunneling out of prison cells and safe houses has given him almost mythical status. So there is little doubt that when Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is sentenced in June he’ll be sent to the most secure prison in the United States’ arsenal. Guzman, 61, is almost certain to be sent to the Colorado “Supermax” prison, in the mile-high desert outside of Florence, two hours from Denver. It’s a facility so secure it’s known as “Alcatraz of the Rockies”. The complex is guarded by razor-wire fences, gun towers, heavily armed patrols and attack dogs. The 400 prisoners, including Boston marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the 1993 World Trade Center attacker, Ramzi Yousef, and Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui, are kept in concrete cells for 23 hours a day. Abu Hamza, the British hate preacher, has been at the Supermax since October 2015, and in December 2017 took legal action to try and be returned to a British prison, claiming the conditions in the US were too harsh. He said in legal documents he would go back to Belmarsh "in a second", and argued unsuccessfully that his conditions at the Supermax breached his human rights under Article 3 of the European Convention, which protects people from "inhuman and degrading treatment". The typical cell is a seven-foot-by-12-foot concrete box with concrete fittings, and a four-inch window, leaving its occupants unable to see the sky. El Chapo's fellow inmates will include Abu Hamza and Richard Reid, the shoe bomber Prisoners are normally allowed television and newspapers, but given Guzman’s status he may be only given old issues, to keep him isolated from the world. Prisoners generally get an hour outside a day together in a small caged-in area, but Bob Hood, a former warden in the prison, said Guzman may not even get that. “He’s such a high-profile person that, in my opinion, he’ll never be allowed on the yard with other prisoners for the rest of his life," he said. Furthermore, prisoners can only receive visitors through thick Perspex barriers, and often go days “with only a few words spoken to them,” an Amnesty International report found. Guzman looks out of the window of his plane as he is extradited from Mexico to the US, in January 2017 Human interaction is minimal, and prisoners eat all meals in the solitude of their own cells. “Other than when being placed in restraints and escorted by guards, prisoners may spend years without touching another human being,” the Amnesty report found. One former prisoner described it as a “high-tech version of hell, designed to shut down all sensory perception.” The US authorities are less concerned about his tunnelling out – something believed to be impossible – or his bribing guards, which certainly aided his legendary Mexican prison escapes. Instead they are worried that his money and mythical status will enable him to win over fellow inmates, or order hits on some of the cooperating witnesses who testified against him. For that reason he may be placed in the prison’s most isolated area, Range 13, Mr Hood said, where inmates rotate between four identical cells. “If ever there were an escape-proof prison, it’s the facility at Florence,” said Burl Cain, the former warden of the maximum-security Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola. “It’s the prison of all prisons.”



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Now that he's been convicted of all counts, what's next for El Chapo?

Now that he's been convicted of all counts, what's next for El Chapo?Drug lord Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzmán was convicted of charges have him facing life in prison. What now?



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