Mexico launches process to extradite 'El Chapo'

MEXICO CITY -- Mexican officials on Sunday formally launched the process to extradite re-captured drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman to the United States, starting what could be a lengthy road full of legal appeals and maneuvering.

See Full Article

Agents notified Guzman at the maximum-security Altiplano prison where he is being held after being recaptured on Friday - six months after he escaped through a tunnel out of the same lockup.

The Attorney General's Office said in a statement that Guzman was informed that he was wanted in the United States. The notification was done agents of the international police agency Interpol, who served two arrest warrants to the jailed drug lord.

Mexican officials had previously said they were willing to extradite Guzman, but cautioned that the extradition process might take a while. Guzman's attorney Juan Pablo Badillo has said the defense has already filed six motions to challenge extradition requests.

According to the Attorney General's office, the U.S. filed extradition requests June 25, while Guzman was in custody, and another Sep. 3, after he escaped. The Mexican government determined they were valid within the extradition treaty and sent them to a panel of federal judges, who gave orders for detention on July 29 and Sept. 8.

Now that he has been recaptured, Mexico has to start processing the extradition requests anew, according to the law.

On Saturday, a Mexican federal law enforcement official said the quickest Guzman could be extradited would be six months, but even that is not likely because lawyers will file appeals. He said that the appeals are usually turned down, but each one means a judge has to schedule a hearing.

"That can take weeks or months, and that delays the extradition," he said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment. "We've had cases that take six years."

Badillo has said that his client shouldn't be extradited to the U.S. because "our country must respect national sovereignty, the sovereignty of its institutions to impart justice."

Mexico's willingness to extradite Guzman is a sharp turnaround from the last time he was captured in 2014, when then-Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam said the extradition would happen only after he finished his sentence in Mexico in "300 or 400 years."

But the legendary drug lord's July 2015 escape embarrassed President Enrique Pena Nieto's government.

Guzman was re-apprehended Friday after a shootout between gunmen and Mexican marines at the home in Los Mochis, a seaside city in Guzman's home state of Sinaloa. Five suspects were killed and six others arrested. One marine was injured.

Mexican authorities say actor Sean Penn's contacts with Guzman helped them track the fugitive down - even if he slipped away from an initial raid on the hideout where the Hollywood actor apparently met him.

Penn's article on Guzman was published late Saturday by Rolling Stone magazine, a day after Mexican marines captured the world's most wanted kingpin in a raid on the city of Los Mochis near the Gulf of California.

Penn wrote of elaborate security precautions, but also said that as he flew to Mexico on Oct 2 for the meeting, "I see no spying eyes, but I assume they are there."

He was apparently right.

A Mexican federal law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not permitted to comment on the issue, told the Associated Press the Penn interview led authorities to Guzman in the area of Tamazula, a rural part of Durango state.

They raided Guzman's remote hideout a few days after the interview and narrowly missed capturing Guzman, whose July escape from Mexico's top security prison - though a 1.5-kilometre-long tunnel - had embarrassed President Enrique Pena Nieto and made his capture a national priority.

Describing the capture, Attorney General Arely Gomez said that investigators had been aided in locating Guzman by documented contacts between his attorneys and "actors and producers" she said were interested in making a film about him, though she did not name them.

Two months after that close call, marines finally caught him in a residential neighborhood of Los Mochis, where they'd been monitoring a suspected safe house. Five people died in a gun battle as troops moved in.

In the interview, Guzman defends his work at the head of the world's biggest drug trafficking organization, one blamed for thousands of killings. When asked if he is to blame for high addiction rates, he responds: "No, that is false, because the day I don't exist, it's not going to decrease in any way at all. Drug trafficking? That's false."

Penn wrote that Guzman was interested in having a movie filmed on his life and wanted Mexican actress Kate del Castillo, who had portrayed a drug trafficker in a television series, involved in the project.

"He was interested in seeing the story of his life told on film, but would entrust its telling only to Kate," wrote Penn, who appears in a photo posted with the interview shaking hands with Guzman.

-----

Associated Press writer Christopher Sherman in Los Mochis, Mark Stevenson in Mexico City and Eric Tucker in Washington contributed to this report.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Decades-long mystery of Second World War helmet finally solved

    Canada News CTV News
    A mysterious Second World War helmet lost for decades has finally been returned to its rightful owners, thanks to some sleuthing and luck online. The Di Cecco family first discovered the helmet when they moved into a Toronto-area home in the 1960s. Source
  • Canada's 150 year ends on ice, but no hockey pucks, triple jumps allowed

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA -- No figure skating. No hockey. No racing. No cell phones. But other than that have fun kids! Canadian Heritage Wednesday unveiled the details of the Canada 150 Ice Rink currently being built on the east lawn of Parliament Hill. Source
  • Regina man accused of smuggling Nigerians across Canada-U.S. border

    Canada News CTV News
    SASKATOON -- A man who pleaded guilty in the United States for his part in a human smuggling operation has been arrested and charged in Canada. RCMP say Victor Omoruyi of Regina was picked up at the Saskatoon International Airport on Tuesday. Source
  • Canada's largest school board votes to end armed police presence in schools

    Canada News CBC News
    Canada's largest school board has voted to end a controversial program that places uniformed police officers in dozens of public schools across Toronto. Toronto District School Board (TDSB) trustees voted 18-3 in favour of cancelling the School Resource Officer (SRO) program during a meeting on Wednesday night. Source
  • Sexual attacks against Rohingya may be war crimes: UN envoy

    World News CTV News
    Widespread atrocities against Rohingya Muslim women and girls have been orchestrated and perpetrated by Myanmar's military and may amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, the U.N. envoy on sexual violence in conflict said Wednesday. Source
  • Report: 2 women claim Franken touched them inappropriately

    World News CTV News
    MINNEAPOLIS - Two women are alleging that Minnesota Democratic U.S. Sen. Al Franken touched their buttocks during events for his first campaign for Senate. The women spoke to Huffington Post on condition of anonymity. Source
  • 12 of 14 Hurricane Irma nursing home deaths ruled homicides

    World News CBC News
    Authorities say the deaths of 12 of the 14 Florida nursing home patients who died after Hurricane Irma have been ruled homicides. The Sun Sentinel reports that autopsy results from the Broward County medical examiner's office were released Wednesday. Source
  • Daily public transit use could pose hearing loss risk: study

    Canada News CTV News
    Daily use of public transit might cause hearing loss. It’s a conclusion anyone who’s taken Toronto rail transit might reach after one ride, but researchers from the University of Toronto now have data to suggest it may be true. Source
  • 'I would draw the line:' Sask. premier candidate opposes abortion for rape victims

    Canada News CTV News
    REGINA -- One of the leading candidates in the race to become the next premier of Saskatchewan says he doesn't believe in abortion, even in the case of sex assault victims. Ken Cheveldayoff, a long-time Saskatoon member of the legislature for the Saskatchewan Party, also says anyone under 18 should need parental consent for the procedure. Source
  • Russia says expert body on Syria chemical attacks 'is dead'

    World News CTV News
    Russia's U.N. ambassador said Wednesday the expert body that has determined responsibility for chemical weapons attacks in Syria "is dead" -- but Moscow is ready to discuss "a new mechanism." Vassily Nebenzia told reporters after a closed Security Council discussion that the Joint Investigative Mechanism, or JIM, "has discredited itself completely. Source