'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

  • IS exploits rain, hits Iraqi militias west, south of Mosul

    World News CTV News
    BAGHDAD -- Islamic State militants have staged near simultaneous attacks on positions of state-sanctioned militias west and south of Iraq's northern city of Mosul, apparently taking advantage of bad weather conditions that normally disrupt air support, two militia officials said on Saturday. Source
  • Nova Scotia closing all school Monday as teachers start job action

    Canada News CTV News
    HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia is closing all its school Monday as teachers take job action over failed contract negotiations. The Nova Scotia Teachers Union has directed staff to go to school 20 minutes before class begins and leave 20 minutes after it ends. Source
  • At least 9 dead, dozens missing in Oakland warehouse fire

    World News CTV News
    OAKLAND, Calif. -- At least nine people died in a blaze that broke out during a party in a warehouse late Friday night in the San Francisco Bay Area, according to fire officials. Oakland Fire Chief Teresa Deloche-Reed says at least another 13 people are unaccounted for as of Saturday morning. Source
  • At least 9 dead in California warehouse party fire

    World News CBC News
    At least nine people are dead and about 25 others were unaccounted for after a massive fire broke out during a late-night party in a warehouse in Oakland, California, the city's fire chief said on Saturday. Source
  • Within hours, wildfires set Tennessee mountain city aflame

    World News CTV News
    GATLINBURG, Tenn. -- Tracey Mayberry told her boss to fire her. It was 2 o'clock Monday afternoon in Gatlinburg, and the sky was dark with smoke. Mayberry's shift as a manager at the resort where she worked did not end until 5 p.m. Source
  • No Lotto Max jackpot winner; Next draw for $50M

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    TORONTO — No winning ticket was drawn for the $30 million jackpot in Friday night’s Lotto Max. That means the grand prize for the next draw on Dec. 9 will grow to $50 million. There will also be two Maxmillion prizes of $1 million each up for grabs. Source
  • Campus attack could be latest terror case in heartland state

    World News CTV News
    CINCINNATI -- Authorities are investigating terrorism as a possible motive in the car-and-knife attack on the Ohio State University campus, the latest in a series of cases involving young men who apparently became radicalized in the heartland state. Source
  • A 'second home' in Yellowknife: Syrian refugee family shares story for the first time

    Canada News CBC News
    Mustafa Alhajy said it was a "bad day" when he decided to drop by his sister's home back in 2011. Syria was at war, being torn apart; and so were her people. "There were rockets that came and actually hit [my] brother-in-law and killed him," said Mustafa in Arabic. Source
  • Rain and sorrow accentuate memorial for dead at Brazil club

    World News CTV News
    CHAPECO, Brazil -- On a rainy Saturday that only accentuated the grief, 20,000 people filled a tiny stadium under umbrellas and plastic ponchos to say goodbye to members of the Chapecoense soccer club who died in a plane crash. Source
  • Jane Goodall lauds Edmonton-area man for chimp rescue

    Canada News CBC News
    World famous primatologist Jane Goodall had already heard about the plight of a young chimpanzee stuck in an Iraqi zoo when she met a Canadian man at an event in Edmonton intent on freeing him. Source