El Chapo Gets 40 Cells To Himself In New Prison Near US Border

REUTERS/Henry Romero/Files

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JP Carroll National Security & Foreign Affairs Reporter
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Sinaloa Cartel boss Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera is getting special treatment behind bars, so much so rival cartel thugs are being moved out of his way.

Ever since El Chapo, Spanish for Shorty, was moved May 7 from Altiplano Prison near Mexico City to a facility in Juarez near the U.S. border, Mexican authorities have been on edge. After El Chapo escaped from prison in July 2015 and re-incarcerated in January, feds fear the drug lord will again give them the slip.

El Chapo is now in a facility close to the U.S. border, mere miles from El Paso, Texas, and extra precautions are being taken — including putting the cartel kingpin in isolation. The “maximum security area” that Shorty now calls home is made up of 40 prison cells, but he only occupies one of them. Essentially, the drug lord has been quarantined from any potential cartel activity.

“Members of the rival Juárez cartel have been moved out of the Cefereso prison,” according to Reforma. Six inmates were reportedly moved out of Cefereso and taken to federal court, according to Las Cruces Sun-News.

Ciudad Juarez is known as a center of major cartel activity in Mexico. The transfer of El Chapo to a prison near the city has been widely criticized since Cefereso is known for its poor security.

A Mexican federal judge cleared the way Monday for El Chapo to be extradited to the U.S. where he will face multiple federal charges. It is suspected that El Chapo will be in a U.S. federal courthouse by June, and tried by the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of New York.

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