NEW YORK – A federal judge in New York has approved a request from defense attorneys representing Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” (Shorty) Guzman for a psychological examination.
US Federal District Judge Brian Cogan granted the motion during a hearing in the case involving Guzman, who faces drug, arms and money laundering charges.
Defense attorney Eduardo Balarezo said the psychological examination could take place next week, with an expert chosen by the drug lord’s defense team performing the evaluation, which does not involve physical contact.
The Sinaloa drug cartel leader has been experiencing “mental deterioration” due to the harsh conditions at the prison where he is being held, Balarezo said in his motion to the court.
El Chapo was captured in Los Mochis, a city in the northwestern Mexican state of Sinaloa, in January 2016 and extradited to the US on Jan. 19.
The Sinaloa cartel, sometimes referred to by Mexican officials as the Pacific cartel, is the oldest drug cartel in Mexico.
The Sinaloa organization, according to intelligence agencies, is a transnational business empire that operates in the United States, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, the Americas and Asia.