The life of a drug lord, despite the perpetual task of evading the law and enemies, is usually depicted as one of opulence and extravagance. It would not be far-fetched to believe Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s life was like that before having to go on the run. Having to constantly be on the run apparently made El Chapo exhausted and depressed. This is evident to those keeping a watchful eye over him as he sits in maximum-security federal prison Altiplano, after being recaptured earlier this month. “He was depressed when he arrived, tired, which is what he said in his first interview. He was very tired of being on the run,” said head of Mexico’s penitentiary system Eduardo Guerrero.
However, though the authorities seem to be concerned about El Chapo’s well-being, the Trap God is trapped like never before, to prevent another escape as he awaits possible extradition to the United States. As part of a new policy enacted three months ago, obviously inspired by El Chapo’s embarrassing escape, a K9 unit guards the area where he is being held, which houses “Mexico’s most-wanted criminals,” according to the Express Tribune. According to the Tribune:
The dogs were also trained to recognise the smell of the country’s “main objectives” as part of efforts to prevent another embarrassing escape. Guzman has been moved to a different cell 11 times without warning since he was sent back to the prison, Guerrero said.
Additionally, even more security measures have been taken to isolate the drug baron, who’s escape from Altiplano was first in the history of the prison (and included aid from a dozen, now-detained, prison officials, including the director). He has been moved to a different cell 11 times without warning. The Tribune details further:
Metal rods were woven closely together under the floor to prevent another tunnel entrance like the one that opened into Guzman’s cell shower.
More surveillance cameras were installed and blind spots, like the one behind the shower wall, no longer exist. Two elite guards now keep watch on Guzman 24 hours per day, with a camera on top of their helmets.
Furthermore, El Chapo’s visitation rights have been suppressed. During his previous 17-month stay, he saw a host of visitors, including a woman with a fake ID. This time around, El Chapo cannot even visit with Emma Coronel, the mother of his twin daughters and former beauty queen. Guerrero says that El Chapo has not divorced his previous wife, though it is widely believed that he married Coronel a decade ago. According to an official, in order to see Coronel, “he will have to give us a divorce certificate and then he has to demonstrate the common-law marriage.”
Regardless, as stated before, the authorities have made sure to see to El Chapo’s personal well-being. The same K9 unit that patrols his unit also taste his food for poison. To help him cope with the depression, prison officials have given El Chapo the classic novel Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes, to read. Guerrero says that the book was given to the kingpin of all kingpins because, “we think that it’s an excellent book and I think that we must start giving him this type of reading material, so that he starts reading.”