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Convicted Drug Lord El Chapo Went on ‘Wild’ Rant Against U.S. at Sentencing


Convicted Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman unleashed a diatribe against the U.S. government in New York on Wednesday before being sentenced to life in prison, a rant courtroom observers described as “wild.”

Molly Crane-Newman, a New York Daily News reporter, jotted down some of El Chapo’s statements, noting that he spoke for 15 minutes about a “corrupt” U.S. government that subjected him to “psychological, emotional and mental torture.” Guzman claimed that he did not receive a fair trial because he was a victim of his own “fame.”

But wait — there’s more.

El Chapo, the so-called “ruthless and bloodthirsty” leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, who “wield[ed] extraordinary violence, including kidnapping, torture and murder, as a tool to enforce discipline against its members and those who acted against the Cartel’s interests,” said he had to put toilet paper in his ears to sleep.

Guzman decried the “most inhumane” jail conditions and the “lack of respect for human dignity.” He said “there was no justice [done] here” and that the U.S. is “no better than any other corrupt country that you to you don’t respect.”

Federal prosecutors got what they were asking for at sentencing, as El Chapo was sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years on drug trafficking charges. He was also ordered to forfeit $12.6 billion.

The El Chapo legal saga appears to be far from over, however. The government has already signaled that it anticipates an appeal.

Guzman’s lawyers previously tried to argue that the jury pool was tainted by misconduct and that, therefore, their client deserved a new trial, but Judge Brian Cogan shot that down as the “textbook definition of a fishing expedition.”

[Image via Ted Psahos/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement via Getty Images]

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Matt Naham is the Senior A.M. Editor of Law&Crime.