Story By: Marija Stojkoska, Sub-Editor: Michael Leidig, Agency: Central European News
Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman’s lawyers have said the US prison where the convicted drug lord is serving a life sentence only allow him two 15-minute phone calls per month.
Mariel Colon Miro, lawyer for Mexican drug lord Guzman, made the claims in a news conference broadcast by Univision television media yesterday (Thursday), a day before the one-year anniversary of Guzman’s sentencing today.
Miro said Guzman, who is serving a life sentence plus 30 years at the supermax prison in Florence, Colorado, is only given two phone calls which last 15 minutes each, and that these calls can only be made to his sister Bernarda, his mother or his daughters.
The Zoukis consulting group, who work to offer information and consultancy for federal prisoners in the US, report on their website that prisoners in the US are normally given 300 minutes of phone calls per month which they use in 15-minute calls.
Lawyer Miro said that the only two people who can visit El Chapo socially are his two daughters, but since they do not live in Colorado, they do not go to visit him every month.
It is unclear if Guzman’s lawyers see the restrictions on visits and phone calls as breaking United States prison regulations.
El Chapo twice escaped maximum-security prisons in Mexico, the first in 2001 when he used bribes to prison guards in the state of Jalisco to escape in a laundry cart, and the second in 2015 when he escaped the Federal Social Readaptation Centre No. 1 through a tunnel.
The incident comes after Maria Consuelo Loera Perez, Guzman’s mother, sent a letter to the President of Mexico, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, asking for her son to be jailed in Mexico instead of the United States and asking to at least be allowed to visit him along with his sisters last year.
Guzman, the former head of the Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico, was sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years at the United States District Court in New York on 17th July 2019.
District Judge Brian M. Cogan imposed the life sentence for continuously maintaining a criminal organisation and the additional 30 years in prison for the usage of weapons for violence.
Guzman’s nephew Enrique Homero Guzman Rocha, 45, was found shot dead inside a vehicle in the Mexican state of Sinaloa earlier this month.