'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

  • More stalkers using technology, StatsCan says

    Canada News CTV News
    The number of stalking incidents in Canada decreased over a 10-year period, but technology has changed the way victims are stalked, according to a new Statistics Canada report. The report, published Wednesday, looked at the prevalence of stalking, as reported by victims, across Canada between 2004 and 2014. Source
  • Supporters of newly freed Diab want inquiry into his extradition to France

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA -- Supporters of Hassan Diab, recently freed by French authorities, want a public inquiry into his extradition on suspicion of murder. Diab's lawyer, Donald Bayne, says Canada never should have sent the Ottawa sociology professor to France. Source
  • Erotic zone: Laval imposes new rules on sex businesses

    Canada News CTV News
    The southwestern Quebec city of Laval has introduced new measures to limit strip clubs, sex shops and massage parlours to one industrial zone. City officials in Laval, Que. voted to adopt the amendments to bylaw L-2000 on Tuesday night. Source
  • Ex-CIA officer arrested, charged with keeping documents

    World News CTV News
    ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- A former CIA officer has been arrested and charged with illegally retaining classified records, including names and phone numbers of covert CIA assets. Jerry Chun Shing Lee, 53, was arrested Monday night after arriving at JFK International Airport. Source
  • Lac-Megantic jury deliberating for seventh straight day

    Canada News CTV News
    SHERBROOKE, Que. -- Jurors are deliberating for a seventh consecutive day today at the trial of three men charged with criminal negligence causing death in the Lac-Megantic railway disaster. The 12 jurors sent the judge a letter Tuesday telling him they were at an impasse. Source
  • Ontario family 'disheartened' by ruling that Ft. William sanatorium not a residential school

    Canada News CBC News
    The family of an 84-year-old Indigenous woman who tried to get a former sanatorium in what is now Thunder Bay, Ont., designated as a residential school says they're "disheartened" by a recent ruling. Ruth Ann Henry was the applicant in an amended request for direction, filed in 2014, to get the "Fort William Indian Hospital Sanatorium School" added to the residential school settlement agreement. Source
  • Across the U.S. South, it's snow, ice and record-breaking cold

    World News CTV News
    ATLANTA -- The South awoke Wednesday to a two-part Arctic mess that caused problems as far south as the Gulf Coast. First came a thin blanket of snow and ice, then came the freezing wind chills and record-breaking low temperatures in New Orleans and other cities. Source
  • Two bodies found in home west of Toronto

    Canada News CTV News
    OAKVILLE, Ont. -- Police say they're investigating after two bodies were found in a home west of Toronto. Halton Regional Police released few details of the scene they found at the home in Oakville, Ont. Source
  • Bitcoin slumps below $10K US, then rebounds even as regulatory fears intensify

    World News CBC News
    Bitcoin skidded below $10,000 US on Wednesday, halving in value from its peak price, with investors gripped by fears regulators could clamp down on the volatile cryptocurrency that sky-rocketed last year. The price of bitcoin, the world's biggest and best known cryptocurrency, fell to as low as $9,315 US on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange, the lowest since late November 2017 Source
  • Canadian reported kidnapped on road to capital in Nigeria

    World News CBC News
    Kidnappers have abducted one Canadian and one American in the northern Nigerian state of Kaduna, killing two police officers, a police spokesman said on Wednesday. They were ambushed by unknown gunmen around Kagarko on their way from the city of Kaduna to the capital Abuja, Mukhtar Aliyu, a spokesman for the Kaduna state police, said by phone. Source