What to Know
- An alleged kingpin just wants to "embrace" his wife before his trial begins, according to a request made to the judge by his lawyer
- Defense Attorney Mariel Colon Miro made the request on behalf of his client, alleged Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman
- Miro says the “humanitarian gesture” request is being made given that Guzman has not been allowed any contact with his wife
An alleged notorious drug lord just wants to "embrace" his wife before his trial begins, according to a letter his lawyer sent the judge presiding over the case.
Defense Attorney Mariel Colon Miro made the request on behalf of his client, alleged Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.
In the letter addressed to U.S. District Judge Brian M. Cogan, Miro writes “to request that Mr. Guzman be allowed to give his wife, Emma Coronel Aispuro, a brief momentary greeting to include perhaps an embrace on Tuesday, November 13th right before the beginning of the opening statements. It can be a brief embrace in open court with the courtroom railing between them.”
Miro says the “humanitarian gesture” request is being made given that Guzman has not been allowed any contact with his wife by telephone or in person since his arrival to New York.
In the letter, Miro also produces a glimpse into Guzman’s life behind bars since his detainment of nearly two years at MCC in solitary confinement.
“Mr. Guzman has been confined to a very small, windowless cell for 23 hours a day Mondays through Fridays and 24 hours a day during the weekend. Except for legal visits, Mr. Guzman has been completely isolated. As a result, Mr. Guzman’s mental and emotional health have deteriorated,” a portion of the letter reads.
“It is well known that solitary confinement possess negative effect to a person's sanity. It is of dire concern that Mr. Guzman's deterioration of his mental and emotional health could lead potentially to a problem in his ability to effectively assist in his defense,” Miro’s letter continues.
Jury selection at the U.S. trial for Guzman was completed Wednesday.
Guzman has pleaded not guilty to charges that his Sinaloa cartel smuggled tons of cocaine and other drugs, laundered billions of dollars and oversaw a ruthless campaign of murders and kidnappings. He faces life in prison if convicted. Opening statements in the trial are expected Nov. 13.