Friday, June 21, 2024

El Chapo says assets should go to Mexico’s indigenous peoples

Convicted drug trafficker Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán wants his money to go to Mexico’s indigenous communities, a lawyer for the former Sinaloa Cartel leader said on Wednesday.

José Luis González Meza said that his client told his mother and sisters via telephone that he was aware that the United States was seeking to seize US $14 billion of his assets.

Guzmán “said the money doesn’t belong to the United States but to the government of Mexico,” the lawyer told a press conference.

González added that “El Chapo” expressed his full support for his wealth to be returned to Mexico on the condition that President López Obrador distribute it to indigenous communities.

The announcement of Guzmán’s wish came two and a half months after López Obrador said that his government would seek to seize the former drug lord’s assets.

To that end, the Senate is proposing the creation of a binational commission to negotiate the return of assets seized from Guzmán and any other Mexican criminals who are tried and convicted in the United States.

The president said on Thursday he liked the idea. “. . . it looks good to me. I applaud the announcement.”

González also said yesterday that he is seeking Guzmán’s repatriation to Mexico. He was extradited to the United States in January 2017 and found guilty on trafficking charges in February.

During his 11-week-trial, jurors heard tales of grisly killings, political payoffs, high living and a massive drug-smuggling operation that resulted in huge quantities of cocaine and other drugs crossing Mexico’s northern border.

At a sentencing hearing in July, federal Judge Brian Cogan handed down a prison term of life plus 30 years and ordered the 62-year-old former narco to forfeit US $12.6 billion, an amount that represents the total amount of illegal drugs the jury determined he shipped to the U.S.

Guzmán is now incarcerated is the so-called “Supermax” prison in Florence, Colorado, the United States’ most secure penitentiary.

Source: EFE (sp) 

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