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Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzmán, en su ficha de prisión. Foto: Twitter
Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzmán, in his prison photo. Photo: Twitter

Life sentence confirmed for 'El Chapo' Guzmán

The conviction of 'El Chapo' Guzmán for drug trafficking and money laundering was recently confirmed. 

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On Tuesday, Jan. 25, a U.S. appeals court upheld the life sentence imposed on Mexican drug trafficker Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzmán, convicted in July 2019 for drug trafficking and money laundering, among other charges.
 
Faced with an appeal filed by 'El Chapo's' defense to annul the trial, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan concluded that "Judge Brian Cogan conducted a diligent and fair three-month trial."
 
'El Chapo's' defense had appealed for a new trial on the grounds that the one held in July 2019 had been marred "by unbridled excess and overreach of powers by both the government and the judicial system."
 
However, none of the 10 claims raised by the defense have "merit" to review the ruling handed down by Judge Gogan, the court said.
 
"I am confident that Mr. Guzman will seek Supreme Court review," said the defendant's attorney, Marc Fernich.
 
Guzman's defense focused on a Vice article, in which an unidentified juror mentioned that no fewer than five fellow jurors adopted media protection from the trial, and lied about it to presiding U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan.
 
Also, 'El Chapo's' total isolation since his extradition to the United States in January 2017 prevented him from collaborating in his defense before and during the trial.
 
On July 18, 2019, 'El Chapo' was found guilty of 10 drug trafficking, money laundering and firearms charges. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.
 
Guzman had escaped twice from maximum security prisons in Mexico, once while hiding in a laundry cart and once by crawling through a tunnel dug into his cell, before being recaptured in a bloody shootout in 2016.
 
He is currently being held at the ADX Florence maximum security prison in Colorado. The U.S. government accuses him of smuggling 1.44 tons of cocaine paste, 222 kg of heroin, nearly 50 tons of marijuana and "quantities" of methamphetamines into the country over 25 years.
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