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El Chapo's health has gotten "a lot worse," wife says

MEXICO CITY - The common-law wife of drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman says his health problems have gotten "a lot worse" because guards at a maximum-security prison rouse him for head counts, interfering with his sleep.

Emma Coronel is the mother of Guzman's twin daughters. She told the Radio Formula station that Guzman is having problems with nervousness and anxiety, because he isn't sleeping at the Altiplano prison west of Mexico City.

El Chapo 12:56

Authorities have been waking Guzman every few hours for head counts. He embarrassed authorities by escaping the prison in July 2015 and was recaptured in January.

Coronel said she thought authorities were trying to kill Guzman.

Coronel quoted Guzman as saying he wasn't allowed to exercise in open air, but doesn't care and only wants to be allowed to sleep.

The Mexican prison officials in charge of preventing Guzman from escaping incarceration for a third time aretaking extreme measures, according to a report in the El Universal newspaper.

Having made his most recent escape via a tunnel dug directly into his cell at the maximum-security Antiplano prison last year, Guzman is now being moved around the facility on a regular basis. According to El Universal, he was in seven different cells over the course of his first five nights back at Antiplano. They make the cell changes at random, meaning he can spend hours or a couple days in any given location.

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The newspaper says prison staff have deployed sniffer dogs trained specifically to detect Guzman's distinct odor, installed hundreds of new cameras, and reinforced the concrete floors of at least some cells with steel.

Every time the Sinaloa drug cartel boss is moved between cells, prison staff follow elaborate and carefully laid out protocol; he's followed by a team of guards, all wearing helmet cameras. Some of the guards remain outside his cell at all times. Each move has to be personally signed-off by the head of Mexico's federal prison service.

According to El Universal, when Guzman last escaped there were about 100 fixed-position cameras in operation at Antiplano. That number, the paper says, has already risen to 400, and by this spring it is expected to be close to 1,000.

A prison official also told El Universal that a whole range of hi-tech devices -- including motion sensors in air ducts and in the earth beneath the building itself -- which were for some reason disconnected when Guzman last escaped, were now fully functional.

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