No love for El Chapo as a federal court judge in New York denied Joaquin Guzman's request to hug his wife before opening arguments in his drug trafficking trial next week.
Since his extradiion to a US jail in January 2017, the Mexican drug lord has been in solitary confinement and unable to touch anyone.
El Chapo's attorneys made the request to Brooklyn Federal Judge Brian Cogan if he could share an “embrace” with Emma Coronel Aispuro before the opening statements in his drug trafficking case next week, Nov. 13.
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“The only human contact Mr. Guzmán has had since his extradition has been with the jail personnel when putting and removing his shackles, and a quick handshake from his attorneys when he goes to court,” the request says. “There is no danger that he would try to escape.”
"A humanitarian gesture”
His attorneys stated that El Chapo's lack of human contact has significantly impacted his mental health and a continued dearth of contact could leave him unable to aid in his own defense during the long trial.
“Permission to allow Mr. Guzmán to give a momentary greeting with his wife, such as an embrace with the railing between them, would not pose a threat to security,” the letter reads. “This would not facilitate any criminal activity. It is not reasonable to infer that a momentary greeting, done under the eye of the U.S. Marshals would present a risk of Mr. Guzmân escaping court or even passing messages to his wife.”
The request also noted that Guzman, 61, has been respectful with everyone on his team and while in lock-up.
He may be the world's most notorious drug lord, but even El Chapo apparently needs a little bit of tenderness.