'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

  • Cautious welcome from congressional Republicans to Trump era

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional Republicans anxiously monitor President Donald Trump's Twitter feed, parse his pronouncements, and brace for potential controversy each time he gives an interview. But GOP lawmakers also say they're growing increasingly accustomed to expecting the unexpected from Trump, and they're learning to take his abrupt pivots in stride, even when what he says stirs divisions or casts doubt on key Republican goals. Source
  • Analysis: Trump promises big change, picks small fights

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump won the White House promising big changes to the nation's economy, health care system and foreign policy. He spent his first full day in office picking small fights. Trump turned what was intended to be a bridge-building visit to the CIA on Saturday into a media-bashing session centered on what he saw as low-ball reports about the crowd size on Inauguration Day. Source
  • Emboldened by Trump's presidency, Israel approves more construction in the settlements

    World News CBC News
    The municipality of Jerusalem granted final approval Sunday for the construction of hundreds of new homes in east Jerusalem, while a hard-line cabinet minister pushed the government to annex a major West Bank settlement as emboldened Israeli nationalists welcomed the presidency of Donald Trump. Source
  • In midst of Aleppo wreckage, a Syrian family returns home

    World News CTV News
    ALEPPO, Syria -- The street looks as if it was hit by an earthquake and the bombed-out building in a former rebel-held northeastern neighbourhood of Aleppo is deserted -- except for the second-floor apartment where Abdul-Hamid Khatib and his family are staying. Source
  • Mystery outbreak sickens approximately 200 students at Ont. college

    Canada News CTV News
    Toronto Public Health says the number of people who have fallen ill by a mysterious outbreak at a Toronto college has risen to about 200. Health officials say Sunday that they are investigating what is causing the outbreak at Humber College. Source
  • Quebec ticket claims $25 million Lotto 6/49 jackpot

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    TORONTO — Quebec has another big lottery winner. The $25 million jackpot in Saturday night’s Lotto 649 draw was claimed by ticket purchased somewhere in the province. And the draw’s guaranteed $1 million prize also went to a ticket holder in Quebec. Source
  • Alberta union says deal includes right to domestic violence leave

    Canada News CTV News
    EDMONTON -- A union in Alberta has negotiated domestic violence leave for members who work at a long-term care facility. The United Steelworkers says the agreement means Rivercrest Care Centre workers who are victims of domestic violence can take paid leave for legal, medical and counselling appointments without fear of losing their jobs. Source
  • Unsettled Montreal Mob leadership means arson and reprisals to continue: experts

    Canada News CTV News
    MONTREAL -- A spate of recent Montreal-area arsons linked to organized crime suggests the battle for Mafia leadership in Quebec remains fractured, experts say. What is likely, they say, is the era that saw charismatic peacemaker Vito Rizzuto rule for three decades will be replaced by something altogether different. Source
  • Failed nuclear missile test off Florida? U.K. won't say

    World News CTV News
    LONDON -- Britain's prime minister refused to say Sunday whether she knew about an unarmed missile that reportedly failed when it was test-fired off the coast of Florida last year. Theresa May told BBC she has total confidence in Britain's Trident nuclear deterrence system, but didn't confirm or deny a newspaper report about the alleged failure of a ballistic missile designed to carry nuclear warheads. Source
  • 'Hero professor' saved lives despite son, daughter dying in fiery bus crash

    World News Toronto Sun
    BUDAPEST, Hungary — It could take days to officially identify the 16 people killed when a bus carrying Hungarian students returning from a ski trip crashed in Italy and burst into flames, Hungary’s foreign minister said Sunday. Source