Mexico to extradite drug lord to the US

Officials yesterday launched the process to extradite recaptured criminal Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, starting what could be a lengthy road full of legal appeals

Mexico City: Mexican authorities have launched the process to extradite drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman to the United States, as they also sought to question US actor Sean Penn over their clandestine meeting.

Mexico City is to execute two arrest warrants for his extradition, two days after Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was captured in a deadly military raid. Pic/afp
Mexico City is to execute two arrest warrants for his extradition, two days after Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was captured in a deadly military raid. Pic/AFP

The extradition bid marks a reversal from President Enrique Pena Nieto’s refusal to send Guzman across the border prior to his July escape from a maximum-security jail.

Legal battle
After judges rule on the extradition, the foreign ministry has to issue a decision. The timing of the extradition is unclear as Guzman can appeal it. His attorney has vowed to challenge the extradition all the way up to the Supreme Court. The whole process could take years. The attorney general’s office said in a statement that Interpol Mexico agents went to Guzman’s prison near Mexico City to execute two arrest warrants for his extradition, two days after he was recaptured in a deadly military raid.

Mexico received the US extradition requests last year on a slew of charges, including drug trafficking and homicide. Guzman is wanted in a half-dozen US states.

Back to the same cell
Guzman is now back in the same prison that he escaped  on July 11 when he snuck down a hole in his cell’s shower that led to a 1.5-km tunnel outside the prison. Officials defended the decision to send him back to the Altiplano prison, saying it remains one of the most secure and that it was reinforced with metal rods under the floors. But the government’s decision suggests that they do not want to take the risk of losing him again.    

Did you know?

Guzman has twice escaped from maximum-security prison in 15 years, most recently in July 2015. He fled from jail once before in 2001 before his February 2014 capture.

Mexico wants to question Penn
Sean Penn’ s interview with Guzman caused an uproar, with Mexican authorities seeking to question him while US critics lashed out at Penn. The attorney general’s office wanted to talk with Penn and Mexican actress Kate del Castillo about their meeting with Guzman.

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