Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, leader of Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel, told his lawyer Silvia Delgado that a prison guard has sexually abused him. Guzman's top lawyer said the drug kingpin did not disclose those details with him but said he could not discredit the claims. Photo courtesy of Mexico's Attorney General
Jan. 17 (UPI) -- A lawyer for Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, leader of Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel, said Guzman is being sexually harassed in prison by a guard.
Silvia Delgado said her client is undergoing harassment during daily checks and pat-down screenings, El Nacional reported.
"He tells me that there is an officer of those who are in charge of his custody -- he told me: 'This official does not touch me to check me, he paws me," Delgado said. "It is a discomfort generated in him."
Delgado did not reveal the identity of the official. She said the way her client is being handled is "embarrassing" -- adding that Guzman said the incidents are "more than abuse -- they are handling me."
José Refugio Rodríguez, who leads Guzman's defense team, told Telemundo that Guzman has not revealed those details to him.
"I can not discredit Silva because Joaquin is not obligated to tell me all the details of the talks with Silvia," Rodríguez said. "[Guzman] said the checks were exhausting, they were revised and that his body was exposed to the guards. With me, he did not complain about a sexual touch."
Guzman and his defense team have repeatedly said the drug kingpin has undergone maltreatment while under the supervision of Mexican officials. Allegations have gone so far that Guzman has said he is becoming a "zombie" due to lack of sleep, while his lawyers accuse prison authorities of subjecting his client to "physical and mental torture."
Guzman was captured in the city of Los Mochis in his home state of Sinaloa on Jan. 8, 2016, after escaping from Mexico's Altiplano Federal Prison on July 11, 2015. Guzman's Sinaloa Cartel is credited with dominating the illegal drug market in nearly the entire United States.