Is 'El Chapo' Guzmán Mentally Ill? Judge Authorized Psychological Evaluation After Lawyer Claims Hallucinations

 Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman
A picture of Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman. Photo: YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images

Infamous drug lord Joaquín "Chapo" Guzmán, will be evaluated by health professionals after his lawyer asked New York federal judge and the person in charge of the case, Brian Cogan, a neuropsychological examination. During the fourth preparatory hearing of the trial that will begin in April 2018, Eduardo Balarezo, defender of the drug trafficker, assured that Guzmán shows a "mental deterioration" due to the conditions of his imprisonment.

According to EFE, the expert chosen by the defense is Cynthia A. Munro, and there will be no physical contact. "El Chapo" has been locked in a 20-by-12-foot cell, 23 hours a day since January 2017.

 Eduardo Balarezo The attorney for Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman, Eduardo Balarezo, talks with the media after a hearing November 8, 2017 outside Brooklyn Federal Courthouse in New York. Photo: DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images

Balarezo says Guzmán "has suffered a marked deterioration in his mental state," and has trouble remembering people, places and events, as well as other symptoms such as auditory hallucinations, feeling persecuted and suffering from depression, plus numerous physical problems, like headaches.

In March, Chapo's former lawyers Michelle Gelernt and Michael Schneider sent a motion to Judge Cogan demanding the end to his isolation and to allow the visits from his wife, claiming that the Sinaloa Cartel leader is having auditory hallucinations and his health is getting worse. "El Chapo," 60, "has difficulty breathing and suffers from a sore throat and headaches. He has recently experienced auditory hallucinations, complaining that he listens to music in his cell even when his radio is off," they wrote.

Gelernt and Schneider later tried to annul his lawsuit, because according to them, the extradition violates the treaty between Mexico and the United States. The lawyers also say in the document that the process should be dismissed because Mexico didn't know and never accepted "the conditions of cruel and inhuman isolation" to which "El Chapo" has been subjected since his arrival in New York.

The former lawyers also doubted that the Mexican government has established that the accused is only tried for the specific charges for which he was extradited, and also seeks to prevent that 14,000 million dollars, belonging to "El Chapo," are confiscated by the prosecution.

If "Chapo" is convicted, a possible sentence of life imprisonment hangs over him, since the US government accuses him of killing thousands of people and of introducing thousands of tons of drugs into the country, in addition of having as witnesses the twin brothers Pedro and Margarito Flores.

The Flores twins used to be part of Guzmán's supply operation, but due complications they decided to be part of an undercover federal operation with the U.S. law enforcement, flipping on "El Chapo." Guzmán Loera has pleaded not guilty to the 17 counts of which he is accused by the U.S. justice, which includes having run one of the largest drug empires in the Americas. Tentatively, the trial against him will begin on April 16, 2018.

 

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Shirley Gomez has been exposed to many aspects of the art world. Besides being a Fashion Journalist, she studied Fashion Styling and Fashion Styling for Men at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, Interior Design at UNIBE and Fashion Design at ITSMJ Fashion School in the Dominican Republic. She worked as a Fashion Journalist, Fashion Stylist and Social Media Manager at one of the most recognized magazines in the Dominican Republic, Oh! Magazine, as an occasional Entertainment Journalist, of the prestigious newspaper “Listín Diario”, as well as a fashion collaborator of a radio show aired in 100.9 FM SuperQ. When Shirley is not writing you can find her listening Demi Lovato or Beyonce's songs, decorating her apartment or watching Family Feud.

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