[JURIST] The Mexican drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán was extradited to the US on Thursday night after his appeal to prevent extradition was denied by a Mexican court. Guzmán , who ran the largest drug cartel in Mexico, previously escaped [WP report] two times from a Mexican federal prison. In the US, he is charged [official website] with six separate indictments, according to the US Department of Justice [official website]. Mexican officials formally denied a relationship between Guzmán’s release and the US presidential inauguration the following day. However, the Washington Post reported a Mexican official called the extradition a “farewell gift to President Obama [personal website].” The anonymous official also told the Post that Mexico wanted send a message to President-elect Trump [official website] that “nothing is for free.” Guzmán will likely be prosecuted [NYT report] in the Eastern District of New York.
Guzmán’s extradition to the US was a lengthy process. Guzmán was sentenced for conspiracy to distribute and import cocaine and kept in Mexico’s highest security prison, Altiplano, in July of 2015. 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 2016 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 Mexican judge granted Guzmán’s extradition to the US, but the extradition was temporarily suspended [JURIST reports] later that month. In October a Mexican judge rejected [JURIST report] Guzmán’s appeal to prevent extradition.