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Lawyer: El Chapo tortured in prison

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Mexican officials released a new video on Wednesday, January 27, showing Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán being booked. The nearly 19-minute-long video released by the Mexican attorney general’s office shows the drug lord being fingerprinted, standing for a mugshot and giving a blood sample at the maximum security Altiplano prison in central Mexico after his latest capture. The clip details El Chapo’s escape from the same prison last July, going on to explain how officials recaptured and arrested the Sinaloa Cartel leader on January 8. Credit: YouTube/Procuraduría General de la República

El Chapo is being tortured in prison, his lawyer says. Picture: Susana Gonzalez.

A LAWYER for Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman says he will argue that his client has been the victim of torture.

Lawyer Jose Refugio Rodriguez said the convicted Sinaloa cartel boss’ legal team has submitted evidence of alleged abusive treatment of Guzman in prison.

“Cruel and unusual treatment is torture,” Rodriguez said.

Guzman’s lawyers have complained in the past that he is not being allowed to sleep, mix with other prisoners or receive enough visits.

They said that caused him anxiety and elevated his blood pressure to dangerous levels.

The government says special security measures are needed following Guzman’s escape from the maximum-security Altiplano prison near Mexico City in 2015, when he fled through a 1.6km-long tunnel dug to the floor of his shower. That was his second prison break.

After Guzman was recaptured in January, prison authorities woke him every few hours for headcounts but later softened that security procedure.

El Chapo was recaptured after escaping from a Mexican jail in July 2015.

El Chapo was recaptured after escaping from a Mexican jail in July 2015.Source:Supplied

Special security measures are needed to keep El Chapo inside prison, the government says.

Special security measures are needed to keep El Chapo inside prison, the government says.Source:Supplied

Lawyers have filed appeals seeking to prevent Guzman’s extradition to the United States, where he faces drug-trafficking, money-laundering, weapons and murder charges.

The torture allegations are not related to those appeals.

On Monday, a judge postponed issuing a ruling on the extradition appeals at a hearing.

Another of Guzman’s lawyers, Andres Granados, said it could take up to three months before there is a decision. Either side could then appeal.

Guzman is currently being held in a federal prison on the outskirts of Ciudad Juárez, which borders El Paso, Texas.

However, he has won an initial judgment in favour of sending him back to the Altiplano prison, which is closer to where hearings in his case are being held.

A federal official said prosecutors have appealed that decision. The official was not authorised to be quoted by name and spoke on condition of anonymity.