Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Friday that he has instructed his government to assist the family of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman in seeking humanitarian visas to visit the convicted drug trafficker in the United States.
During a visit last week to Guzman’s hometown of Badiraguato in Sinaloa state, a lawyer passed Lopez Obrador a letter from Guzman’s mother.
“Like any mother asking me for support for her son,” Lopez Obrador said.
Guzman’s mother asked for legal help and assistance obtaining humanitarian visas for two of Guzman’s sisters to visit him.
Lopez Obrador was in Sinaloa to announce a highway construction project in the area.
He said legal questions would have to be dealt with by Mexico’s Interior Ministry, Attorney General’s Office and judiciary.
A reporter had asked Lopez Obrador about reports that Guzman’s mother asked him to arrange to have the drug lord serve out his sentence in Mexico, but the president did not respond directly.
In an interview with Univision just before Lopez Obrador’s visit, Consuelo Loera, Guzman’s mother, said: “My request is that they let me go see him and that they transfer him here to Mexico.”
U.S. support for such a request would be extremely unlikely considering Guzman has escaped from two prisons.
But on the humanitarian front, Lopez Obrador said: “I gave instructions that they facilitate (soliciting the visas) and that the sisters be able to go to the United States and to help them according to the laws, regulations that country has, so that they can visit him or have communication.”
According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, such permission, known as humanitarian parole, is reserved for people with a compelling emergency, but anyone can apply. Those who could be considered eligible should have an “emergent humanitarian reason or significant public benefit” to temporarily entering the U.S.
Applications are considered on a case-by-case basis.
Guzman was convicted Feb. 12 in federal court in New York on multiple drug trafficking and conspiracy charges and likely faces a life sentence.