The wife of Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman complained in a television interview about his treatment in prison and said she fears for his life.
Emma Coronel, the mother of Guzman’s US-born twin girls, told Telemundo that the authorities “want to make him pay for his escape” in July, when he embarrassed the government by tunneling out of prison.
“I am afraid for his life. We don’t know if he’s eating well. We don’t know what his situation is because we haven’t seen him,” the 26-year-old former beauty queen said, according to excerpts released on Friday.
“They say that they are not punishing him. Of course they are. They are there with him, watching him in his cell. They are right there, all day long,” she said.
“They don’t let him sleep. He has no privacy, not even to go to the restroom,” Coronel said in the interview, which will be broadcast in full on Sunday by the US-based Spanish-language network.
Eduardo Guerrero, the head of Mexico’s penitentiary system, said last month that she was not allowed to see Guzman, 58, because he had not provided documents to prove that he divorced from his previous wife, casting doubt on the validity of his marriage to Coronel.
Guzman and Coronel were reportedly married in 2007 in the northern state of Durango, when she was 18 years old.
After recapturing Guzman on January 8, he was returned to the same prison he escaped from, the Altiplano, some 90km west of Mexico City.
To prevent another escape, the authorities assigned two permanent guards in front of his cell, with a camera on top of their helmets to watch his every move. They also regularly move him to a new cell without warning.
A dog tastes his food before it is served to him to thwart any attempt to poison him, Guerrero said.
The government also ensured that there were no more blind spots for surveillance cameras looking into his cell.
The night of his escape, cameras showed Guzman crouching behind his shower’s low wall before disappearing. He slipped down a hole on the floor, which led to a 1.5-km long tunnel.
One of his lawyers said this week that Guzman complains that guards wake him up every two hours to check his presence and that “they’re turning him into a zombie”.
“I think that all human beings have the right to have at least the vital things for a human. They are not giving that to him,” said Coronel, who gave birth to the twins in Los Angeles in 2011.