Mexican drug lord Chapo wants quick extradition to US – lawyer

MEXICO CITY, Mexico – Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman has asked his defense team to expedite his extradition to the United States because he is being mistreated in a maximum-security prison, his lawyer said Wednesday, March 2.

Guzman, who was recaptured on January 8 after tunneling out of his previous jail cell in a spectacular escape, made the request in an "act of desperation," said lawyer Jose Refugio Rodriguez in a radio interview.

Rodriguez said it would take at least two months for the extradition process to be completed and that defense lawyers would have to discuss it with US authorities.

Rodriguez said he saw Guzman on Tuesday and that the Sinaloa drug cartel leader told him: "Try to get me extradited as fast as possible."

Guzman, 58, has complained that guards at the Altiplano prison, some 90 kilometers (55 miles) west of Mexico City, wake him up all the time.

"Not allowing someone to sleep is an act of torture," he said. "I saw a desperate man, a dejected man. I found him very discouraged and in a very serious state of health." 

Mexican authorities deny that Guzman is being mistreated. Security measures were stepped up at the Altiplano following Guzman's July escape, which deeply embarrassed President Enrique Pena Nieto's administration. –