'El Chapo' extradition process begins, defence deep in appeals

MEXICO CITY -- Mexico has begun the process of extraditing drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman to the United States after the famed fugitive was recaptured following a dramatic, months-long hunt featuring movie stars, sewer escapes and bloody shootouts.

See Full Article

That process will probably take "one year or longer," the head of Mexico's extradition office, Manuel Merino, told Radio Formula on Monday. He said the process had lasted as long as six years, in one case because of legal challenges.

On Sunday, agents formally notified Guzman that he was wanted in the United States. In a statement, the Attorney General's Office said Mexican agents assigned to the international police agency Interpol served two arrest warrants to the drug lord, who is being held at the Altiplano prison following his capture by Mexican marines on Friday.

Guzman's defence now has three days to present arguments against extradition and 20 days to present supporting evidence, beyond the plethora of other appeals they have already started filing.

Guzman's powerful Sinaloa cartel smuggles multi-ton shipments of cocaine and marijuana as well as manufacturing and transporting methamphetamines and heroin, mostly to the U.S. He is wanted in various U.S. states and his July escape deeply embarrassed the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto and strained ties between the countries.

Guzman's attorney Juan Pablo Badillo has said the defence has already filed six motions to challenge extradition requests.

Badillo 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."

Guzman was re-apprehended on 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.

The Mexican newspaper El Universal published 10 photographs Monday that appeared to show how closely Penn was monitored as he arrived in Mexico on Oct. 2 to interview Guzman for Rolling Stone magazine.

The photographs that appear to show Penn and actress Kate Del Castillo arriving at an airport, then at a hotel, and greeting the men who apparently took them to a small airstrip, from which they flew to the jungle camp to meet Guzman.

The newspaper said the photos, which appear to have been taken with a telephoto lens, are part of a Mexican government intelligence file that it obtained.

Penn's article on Guzman was published late Saturday by Rolling Stone magazine, a day after the drug lord's recapture. In it, 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."

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 following his July escape from Mexico's top security prison though a mile-long (1.5-kilometre) tunnel.

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.

Three months after that close call, marines finally caught him in a residential neighbourhood of Los Mochis, where they'd been monitoring a suspected safe house. Guzman was able to escape via storm drains and exited a manhole in the street. But he was captured in a vehicle on the highway.

In the interview in Rolling Stone, 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.

Penn's representatives have not commented on the claims by Mexican officials.

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

  • Liberals propose overhaul of Divorce Act, intending to put children 1st

    Canada News CBC News
    The Liberal government is overhauling Canada's federal divorce laws to ensure the best interests of the children are the top priority in all decisions. Bill C-78, which was tabled Tuesday in the House of Commons, also takes steps to address family violence and child poverty in the first major revamp in more than 20 years. Source
  • Halifax police clear Liberal MP Francis Drouin on sexual assault allegation

    Canada News CBC News
    Halifax police will not be charging Liberal MP Francis Drouin following allegations he groped a woman at a bar during last month's Liberal Party policy convention. The Ontario MP, who represents the riding of Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, was alleged to have committed the offence at the Halifax Alehouse, near the facility where the Liberal Party policy convention was being held. Source
  • Russia adopts bill that could stymie trade with U.S.

    World News CTV News
    MOSCOW -- Russia's parliament on Tuesday adopted a wide-ranging bill that could freeze crucial exports to the United States and imports to Russia from the U.S. and other countries. The bill, drafted by leading lawmakers at the State Duma in response to the latest round of U.S. Source
  • Her husband took his own life after he was bullied on the job

    Canada News CBC News
    By Alicia Bridges Brenda Duhaime tries to avoid spending the night in her own home. She's been staying with family off and on since August 2017. That's when her husband, Robert Duhaime, was found unconscious on their living room floor. He had taken his own life. Source
  • Quebec judge authorizes class-action lawsuit against Just for Laughs founder Gilbert Rozon

    Canada News CBC News
    A Quebec Superior Court justice has given the green light to a class action against Gilbert Rozon. A group of about 20 women calling themselves Les Courageuses, or the courageous ones, say they were sexually assaulted or harassed by the Just for Laughs founder. Source
  • Palestinians want international court to investigate Israel

    World News CTV News
    THE HAGUE, Netherlands -- Calling it a "historic step" toward justice, the Palestinian foreign minister asked the International Criminal Court on Tuesday to open an "immediate investigation" into alleged Israeli crimes committed against the Palestinian people. Source
  • Congo announces 6 new confirmed cases of Ebola virus

    World News CBC News
    Congo's health ministry announced six new confirmed Ebola cases and two new suspected cases Tuesday as vaccinations entered a second day in an effort to contain the deadly virus in a city of more than 1 million. Source
  • How this survivor of the Manchester concert bombing is managing her trauma

    World News CBC News
    It is a life-altering thing for any child to live through a bomb explosion. It's an even bigger thing when she can say she's no longer fearful of the trauma she still suffers as a result. Source
  • Police say man beat dog because it ate his Whopper

    World News CTV News
    DARTMOUTH, Mass. -- Prosecutors say a Massachusetts man hit his dog in the head with a baseball bat because he was angry the animal ate his Burger King Whopper sandwich. Gregory Ostiguy was held on US$5,000 bail after pleading not guilty Monday to animal cruelty. Source
  • Tesla's Musk admits Model 3 braking issue, promises fix

    World News CBC News
    Tesla chief executive officer Elon Musk has sought to play down a report identifying "big flaws" in its Model 3 sedan, admitting there is a braking issue with the vehicle but saying it will be fixed with a software update within days. Source