Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Thursday called the jail conditions of drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman inhumane, after he was rushed out of New York within hours of receiving life sentence.
Lopez Obrador said at his regular morning conference that sentences like the one for El Chapo - 'a sentence for life in a hostile jail, hard, inhumane' - made a life no longer worth living.
The convicted Mexican drug lord was forced to immediately depart for the highest security prison in the U.S. to serve his term, his lawyer confirmed on Thursday.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Thursday called the jail conditions of drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman inhumane, after he was rushed out of New York within hours of receiving life sentence
On of the most recent photographs of Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman in 2017 when he was was walked from a plane to a waiting caravan of SUVs at Long Island MacArthur Airport, in New York. He was convicted in February 2019 on multiple conspiracy counts in an epic drug-trafficking case, was sentenced to life behind bars in a U.S. prison, on Wednesday
As well as his concern for the infamous kingpin's wellbeing, Lopez Obrador criticized the violence he wrought over his long career, and said society needed moral reforms.
'I also have many victims in mind,' he added. 'It's something very painful.'
Lopez Obrador has created a new militarized police force to bring down violence that has spiraled as cartels splinter and smaller groups fight for territory.
Last year, violence cost a record 33,000 lives. Those numbers continued surging in the first six months of Lopez Obrador's term in office, which began in December.
When asked whether he expected violence to rise further over coming weeks following the sentencing of El Chapo, Lopez Obrador said: 'No, on the contrary. We think that bit by bit the number of criminal incidents will decline.'
'We will continue to create a better society, supported by values, that is not based on accumulating material wealth, money or luxury,' Lopez Obrador said.
Guzman was rushed by government helicopter to United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility (above), also known as the ADX or 'Supermax', in Florence, Colorado, after a plan to break him free again was discovered
Guzman has broken free from two Mexican high security prisons in the past. Here he is pictured being escorted to a helicopter in handcuffs by Mexican navy marines at a navy hanger in Mexico City in 2014
Following Guzman's sentencing, a government helicopter took the narco, notorious known for his daring jail breaks, away from the federal court in Brooklyn.
Defense Attorney Jeffrey Lichtman was informed that his client was en-route to the supermax facility in Florence, Colorado.
For most defendants, there's a break between sentencing and a decision by the Bureau of Prisons on where to house them.
In the case of Guzman, U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan agreed to a recommendation that the drug lord should remain in federal jail in Manhattan for an additional two months to help his lawyers mount an appeal.
But that changed after it became clear that behind the scenes there already was a plan in place 'to get him out of the city as soon as possible,' Lichtman said.
Prison officials and prosecutors wouldn't talk about Guzman's whereabouts on Thursday.
The 62-year-old Guzman had been the subject of extreme security measures carrying an untold cost ever since his extradition to the U.S. in 2017 to face drug-trafficking charges.
Authorities were determined to prevent any repeat of Guzman's legendary jailbreaks in Mexico, including the one in 2015 involving a mile-long (1.6 kilometer-long) tunnel dug to the shower in his cell.
Guzman was put in solitary confinement in a high-security wing of the Manhattan jail that has housed terrorists and mobsters.
'I drink unsanitary water, no air or sunlight, and the air pumped in makes my ears and throat hurt,' he said at sentencing. 'This has been psychological, emotional and mental torture 24 hours a day.'
For pretrial hearings in Brooklyn, authorities transporting Guzman to and from jail shut down the Brooklyn Bridge to make way for a police motorcade that includes a SWAT team and an ambulance, all tracked by helicopters.
Once the trial started, they secretly kept him locked up in the bowels of the courthouse during the week to make the logistics less arduous.
The apparent next - and last - stop for Guzman: a prison sometimes called the 'Alcatraz of the Rockies.'
Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui and Oklahoma City bombing accomplice Terry Nichols are among those who call it home.
U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan (left) recommended that Guzman be held in New York upon sentencing. But after a plan to break him free was discovered he was immediately flown to Supermax in Colorado, according defense attorney Jeffrey Lichtman (right)
Guzman aka 'El Chapo' (center), being escorted by marines as he is presented to the press on February 22, 2014 in Mexico City