Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman spoke publicly for the first time since his conviction on Wednesday, complaining to a judge that his incarceration at a Manhattan lockup has been absolute “torture” before being sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years.
“I’ve been forced to drink unsanitary water. I’ve been denied access to fresh air and sunlight. The only sunlight I have in my cell comes through in the air vent,” the 62-year-old convicted drug kingpin told Brooklyn federal court judge Brian Cogan ahead of his sentencing.
Guzman, whose lawyer Eduardo Balarezo was translating for him, continued reading from a piece of paper.
“In order to sleep, I have to clog my ears with toilet paper because of the air from the air duct,” he groused. “My wife has not been allowed to this day to visit me, I have not been allowed to hug my daughters.
“I have been physically, psychologically, mentally tortured 24 hours a day.”
Guzman also claimed he received an unfair trial, saying it was “stained” by juror misconduct.
The once-powerful leader of the Sinaloa cartel was then sentenced by Cogan to life in prison, the minimum he faced, plus an additional 30 years for his conviction of unlawful use of firearms, including machine guns.
Earlier in the morning, Guzman entered the courtroom wearing a suit and tie and blew a kiss to his wife Emma Coronel Aispuro, who was seated in the packed gallery.
He started off his statement by thanking his family, friends and legal team for their “unconditional support through this long process.”
“They have supported me and will continue to support me,” he said.
Guzman has been holed up in solitary confinement at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Lower Manhattan since his 2017 arrest.
His lawyers have repeatedly complained to the court about the conditions at the fortress-like lockup. Last month, they asked for the purported billionaire to be allowed outdoor exercise, earplugs and bottled water.
The request was shot down by the judge.
The diminutive druglord was convicted in February on a a slew of drug-trafficking charges.
This article was originally posted here