Mexican officials have announced a move to extradite notorious drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera following his recapture–and despite prior refusals to do so.
A Saturday afternoon statement from the Mexican government disclosed that extradition proceedings are beginning according to the Los Angeles Times.
That would leave Guzman facing a trial in the United States. Guzman was caught on Friday following a massive shootout.
The United States has made prior requests to extradite Guzman. He had escaped from a Mexican prison in 2001 while serving a 20-year sentence for drug crimes. He was caught again in February 2014, according to a Breitbart News report.
Breitbart’s Sylvia Longmire reported: “Shortly after being jailed again, controversy brewed over Guzmán’s fate. The U.S. government began to push hard for Guzmán’s extradition, citing security concerns. Peña Nieto declined, claiming El Chapo could not possibly escape again.”
But Chapo did escape again in July 2015 through an elaborate tunnel system and coordinated escape effort.
Friday’s shootout, which ended in the capture of El Chapo, left massive bloodshed in its wake. Breitbart Texas published photos of the aftermath (with a warning for graphic content). According to the report, authorities killed five of the gunmen and arrested six more. After a press conference the cartel leader was taken back to the jail he had escaped from months ago.
His recapture on Friday and placement in the same prison he escaped from last July prompted questions about his extradition to the United States.
The U.S. has now made two formal extradition requests, and it appears the Mexican government has decided to agree this time. The requests were made in relation to crimes including murder, money laundering and arms possession according to the report.
“Guzman…and his lawyers now have three days to file objections and 20 more days to prove them,” read a portion of the Mexican government’s Saturday statement according to the Times.
A judge must approve the extradition, which would then would face approval or denial from Mexico’s Ministry of Foreign Relations, according to the report. Juan Pablo Badillo, Guzman’s attorney, has filed several motions challenging the extradition.
Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana