The mother of convicted ex-drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán has been granted a humanitarian visa by the United States so she can visit her son in prison.
María Consuelo Loera Pérez, 91, addressed journalists from a wheelchair in front of the United States Embassy in Mexico City Friday, affirming in a feeble voice that she longed to be reunited with her son.
“I hope they will allow me to give him a hug . . . and I wish they would free him.”
Loera was accompanied by two of her daughters — El Chapo’s sisters — who were also granted visas to visit the former head of the Sinaloa Cartel.
Guzmán was found guilty by a jury in a United States federal court on February 12 on charges of trafficking heroin, cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamines into the U.S. He faces the possibility of getting life in prison in a maximum-security penitentiary at his June 25 sentencing.
The former drug boss’s lawyers called the trial, which heard stories of bloody murders, bribes made to politicians, cocaine hidden in jalapeño jars and jewel-encrusted guns, a farce. While the defense did not deny El Chapo’s crimes, they alleged that the prosecution’s cases rested on witness evidence delivered by other criminal suspects who hoped to receive lighter prison sentences.
The lawyers also claimed that the result of the trial had been affected by the extensive media coverage of the case and asserted that they intended to appeal the verdict.
Guzmáns mother said she and her daughters had not yet set a date for their visit. She thanked both President López Obrador and the United States Embassy for their roles in making the trip possible.
Loera first approached the president for help in February, passing him a letter when he visited El Chapo’s home town of Badiraguato, Sinaloa. In the letter, she said she had not seen her son in over five years and that “with my advanced age and not being able to see him, only my faith in Jesus Christ is keeping me alive.”
López Obrador told reporters that he intervened out of sympathy for the woman.
Loera said if she is allowed to give her son anything during her visit, she will take him his favorite dish of homemade enchiladas.