Two weeks ago Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was moved to a prison near the city of Ciudad Juárez, close to the border from Texas. We surmised that this maneuver opened the door for the drug kingpin to be extradited to the U.S. and it appears that is exactly what is happening. On Friday, Mexico’s foreign ministry granted two requests to extradite the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, to face trial in the United States.
The infamous drug kingpin faces charges of criminal association, drug trafficking, organized crime, the illegal possession of firearms, homicide and money laundering in Texas. A federal court in Southern California is seeking to press charges of conspiracy to import, possess and distribute cocaine. Guzman faces charges from seven U.S. federal prosecutors including major cities such as New York, Chicago and Miami.
One of the hurdles of the extradition was that Mexico outlawed the death penalty and prohibits any criminal from being extradited to a country where he could be sentenced to death. The United States assured Mexico that El Chapo would not face the death penalty.
“The U.S. government provided sufficient guarantees that Mr. Guzman Loera would not be subject to the death penalty if extradited and tried in that country,” the statement read.
However, El Chapo is not likely to be in the U.S. any time soon. Guzman’s lawyers can still appeal the decision, which could postpone his extradition for weeks to months to even years.
Juan Pablo Badillo, one of Guzman’s attorneys, said he would be filing multiple legal challenges against his client’s extradition. Another one of Guzman’s lawyers, Jose Refugio Rodriguez, said the appeal will take “at least one to three years.”
“He knows and is conscious that the real battle against extradition is going to be waged through the constitutional appeals process,” said Rodriguez.
A few weeks ago, it was announced that there was a television show being made about the notorious drug lord.
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