Mexico judge rejects appeals of ‘El Chapo’ extradition to US

Mexico judge rejects appeals of ‘El Chapo’ extradition to US

[JURIST] A Mexican judge on Thursday rejected five appeals intended to prevent the extradition of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán [BBC profile] to the US for criminal charges. A previous judge had suspended [JURIST report] Guzmán’s extradition in May, but the extradition was later approved by the foreign ministry. The current judge ruled [CNN report] against two of Guzmán’s injunctions, and the remaining three injunctions had already been dismissed prior to this ruling. Once Guzmán has received formal notice of the decision, he will have an opportunity to file one last appeal before the extradition is finally performed. Guzmán’s lawyers have stated [BBC report] their intention to bring the case to the Supreme Court and even the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) [official website] if necessary. Should the last appeal be similarly rejected, Guzmán’s extradition is expected to take place by February.

Guzmán was sentenced for conspiracy to distribute and import cocaine and kept in Mexico’s highest security prison, Altiplano, in July of last year. 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 2015 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 five suspects dead and one Mexican official injured. In May,a judge ruled [JURIST report] and then Mexico’s foreign ministry approved [WP report] Guzmán’s extradition to the US. The judge presiding over Guzmán’s case was assassinated [Telegraph report] near Mexico City earlier this week.