New York, United States — Defense lawyers of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán have requested that the drug trafficker be subjected to a psychological examination due to the “mental deterioration” that he apparently suffers as a result of his conditions of imprisonment.
Eduardo Balarezo, a lawyer for the Mexican drug trafficker, made the request to Judge Brian Coga in a letter sent to the federal court in New York that deals with the case.
During the last month, Guzmán “has suffered a marked deterioration in his mental state,” Balarezo argues, which has manifested itself in problems to remember people, places and events.
In addition, the lawyer assures that the drug trafficker has complained of suffering auditory hallucinations, of feeling persecuted and of depression, as well as of suffering numerous physical problems, among them continuous headaches.
“It is clear to the defense team that something is not right with Mr. Guzmán,” says Balarezo in his letter.
The lawyer requested that an expert from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine be able to visit his client and maintain contact with him to evaluate his condition.
An expert, Cynthia A. Munro, explained in an accompanying letter that “ideally” she would need to have direct access to Guzmán, but that she could also carry out an interview under the conditions that are allowed and then determine if these were sufficient for a diagnosis.
El Chapo remains in custody in a New York jail awaiting trial amid huge security measures since he was extradited to the United States last January.
According to his defense the El Chapo is in total isolation from other prisoners, has only been able to receive two family visits during his imprisonment and only has one hour a day outside the cell to exercise noting that the constant lighting makes it difficult to rest.
El Chapo, who twice escaped from Mexican jails, is accused in the United States of 17 crimes as leader of the Sinaloa cartel, including drug trafficking, illegal use of weapons and money laundering and faces life imprisonment.