Mexico judge grants ‘El Chapo’ extradition to US
Mexico judge grants ‘El Chapo’ extradition to US

A judge in Mexico’s Third District for Penal Processes ruled in favor of extraditing Joaquín “el Chapo” Guzmán to the US, a federal court authority said on Monday. Guzmán faces charges of drug trafficking, kidnapping, money laundering and murder in Chicago, Miami, New York, and others. One of Guzmán’s lawyers stated that there are nine appeals pending [Reuters report] against extradition and that since his client’s “legal situation” was still being processed, to extradite him before all legal processes are exhausted would be a violation of his human rights. According to the judge, all legal requirements have been met [AP report, in Spanish] in the issue concerning extradition. The judge’s identity remains unknown. Mexican government officials have said in private that “the decision to extradite the drug lord is essentially a political call dependent on the president.” The Mexican foreign ministry has 20 business days to analyze and make a decision concerning extraditing the drug lord. Guzmán is currently being held, after being transferred, to Cuidad Juárez where his cartel is fighting for control. The head of the federal prisons service denied that the transfer was connected to extradition to the US.

Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán was sentenced for conspiracy to distribute and import cocaine and kept in Mexico’s highest security prison, Altiplano, in July. Guzmán escaped from prison that month and a federal official announced [JURIST report] that seven of those who were being questioned regarding the prison escape were formally arrested. In August a Mexican judge temporarily suspended [JURIST report] a US extradition order for Guzmán for an unknown reason and the escape increased tension in US-Mexico relations. In January Guzmán was recaptured [JURIST report] in Los Mochis, Mexico after a Mexican-military raid left 5 suspects dead and one Mexican official injured.