Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman isn't comfortable. El Chapo's lawyers have filed documents asking that the Mexican drug lord be moved from solitary confinement due to less-than-desirable conditions, NBC News reported Tuesday. Attorneys want El Chapo to be allowed to join other inmates at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in lower Manhattan.
El Chapo, according to the documents, is given just one hour of solitary exercise in a cell containing one treadmill and one stationary bike. On weekends, he is reportedly given no exercise time at all. "His meals are passed through a slot in the door; he eats alone," the documents claimed. "The light is always on. With erratic air conditioning, he has often lacked enough warm clothing to avoid shivering."
Inside a "small, windowless cell," El Chapo is said to spend 23 hours a day totally alone and "never goes outside." Lawyers have argued that El Chapo should be allowed to contact his wife and previously claimed that he has been refused water. "He's only permitted out for limited members of our office and one hour of exercise a day," defense attorney Michelle Gelernt told reporters last month, according to NBC News. "It's extremely restrictive." El Chapo has also claimed to be "experiencing auditory hallucinations," the New York Daily News added.
A public defender for El Chapo pleaded not guilty to a 17-count indictment in federal court in Brooklyn in January. As a condition of El Chapo's extradition, prosecutors will not seek the death penalty. In a Department of Justice statement announcing El Chapo's charges, then-acting Attorney General Sally Q. Yates thanked the Mexican government for helping them secure El Chapo's extradition.
"The Mexican people have suffered greatly at the hands of Guzman Loera and the Sinaloa Cartel; Mexican law enforcement officials have died in the pursuit of him," Yates said. "We will honor their sacrifice and will honor Mexico's commitment to combat narco-trafficking by pursuing justice in this case."