Photo: Mexican Drug Lords Complain U.S. Prison Conditions are Causing Psychological Harm
Detained Mexican drug lords are reportedly upset with the conditions of the U.S. prisons they are being held in, saying the unnecessarily harsh conditions may be causing them physical and psychological harm.
The cartel members and leaders have taken to the courtroom to claim their treatment in U.S. prisons violates U.S.-Mexico extradition treaties.
The men being held are those suspected and/or convicted of taking part in or ordering the gruesome acts of violence against people in Mexico and the U.S.
However, Thursday, a U.S. judge conceded that their claims have some merit and ordered that Jesus Vicente Zambada Niebla, son of the Sinaloa cartel’s leader, should be allowed to leave his cell and have outdoor recreation time on a roof top.
Before the judge’s decision, Zambada, who himself is a ranking member of one of Mexico’s most violent and powerful cartels, was primarily confined to his 10x6-foot cell for what his lawyers said was, “18 months of isolation without seeing the sun or breathing fresh air.”
Many believe these complaints come from men who, if ever captured in Mexico, were able to either buy better accommodations or bribe themselves out of jail time completely. In the U.S., they have come face to face with a justice system far different than that of Mexico.
Former Houston-based federal prosecutor Mark W. White III said, “The word on the street in the United States is you can’t bribe your way out of prison or bribe your way into better living conditions. In other places, it might not be as uncomfortable..”
U.S. prison officials have said these prisoners, while very powerful, have a number of enemies and are kept in isolation for their own safety.