His tunneling out of prison cells and safe houses has given him almost mythical status. So there is little doubt that when Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is sentenced in June he’ll be sent to the most secure prison in the United States’ arsenal.
Guzman, 61, is almost certain to be sent to the Colorado “Supermax” prison, in the mile-high desert outside of Florence, two hours from Denver. It’s a facility so secure it’s known as “Alcatraz of the Rockies”.
The complex is guarded by razor-wire fences, gun towers, heavily armed patrols and attack dogs.
The 400 prisoners, including Boston marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the 1993 World Trade Center attacker, Ramzi Yousef, and Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui, are kept in concrete cells for 23 hours a day.
Abu Hamza, the British hate preacher, has been at the Supermax since October 2015, and in December 2017 took legal action to try and be returned to a British prison, claiming the conditions in the US were too harsh.
He said in legal documents he would go back to Belmarsh “in a second”, and argued unsuccessfully that his conditions at the Supermax breached his human rights under Article 3 of the European Convention, which protects people from “inhuman and degrading treatment”.