Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Thursday criticized the life sentence recently handed down to drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, calling such treatment "inhumane."
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Speaking at his regular morning conference, Lopez Obrador said prison sentences like the one imposed on Guzman were "a sentence for life in a hostile jail, hard, inhumane,' and made a life no longer worth living, the Daily Mail reported.
Lopez Obrador also acknowledged the violence Guzman oversaw for many years, adding, "I also have many victims in mind. It's something very painful."
Guzman was sentenced in a federal courtroom Wednesday in New York to life in prison plus 30 years, after being found guilty of 10 federal charges in connection with his 30-year reign over Mexico's Sinaloa cartel. NBC News reported that during the trial, jurors "listened to Hollywood-like tales of brutal murders of cartel enemies, political payoffs elaborate schemes to traffic drugs, two brazen escapes that almost became three, and even a love triangle."
Prior to his capture and extradition to the U.S., Guzman bragged to actor Sean Penn in a Rolling Stone interview, "I supply more heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana than anybody else in the world."
The Sinaloa cartel is reportedly still going strong despite the arrest of El Chapo and other top leaders.
Last year, Mexico's murder rate hit a 20-year high, and is on track to climb even higher before the end of 2019. The country's congress reacted by creating a new militarized police force called the National Guard to address the violence.
President Lopez Obrador is a pacifist, and recently said he would get rid of his country's military altogether if it were politically viable to do so.
On Thursday, the Mexican president was asked whether he expected crime to spike following the sentencing of El Chapo. He answered, "No, on the contrary. We think that bit by bit the number of criminal incidents will decline."
Lopez Obrador added, "We will continue to create a better society, supported by values, that is not based on accumulating material wealth, money or luxury."