Possible Ruling on Extradition of Drug Lord El Chapo Guzman
Today, a Mexican judge may rule on the possible extradition of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman to the United States.
Jose Refugio Rodriquez, a Guzman attorney, told the AFP News Agency that Guzman was “very serene” awaiting the decision to be passed down by the court in Mexico City. Even if the judge rules on Monday, the defense team will not be notified until tomorrow.
In May, the foreign ministry gave the okay to extradite Guzman. In June, however, Guzman won a temporary injunction, which the judge must now uphold or reject.
Rodriquez said “We hope that the result will be favorable.”
Indeed, his lawyers state they plan to appeal, all the way up to the Supreme Court if necessary, if the ruling doesn’t turn out in his favor. If the extradition is approved, the Guzman team will have 10 days to appeal, which would take several more weeks to rule.
An anonymous United States government official told AFP that the drug kingpin Guzman could possibly be in custody by year’s end. He faces charges of murder and drug distribution, among others in California and Texas.
In February 2014, Guzman was apprehended after 13 years on the run, but he escaped later from the Altiplano maximum-security prison via a one mile tunnel. He was recaptured in January, 2016, in his home state of Sinaloa, and sent back to the same prison. He was then transferred in May to a prison in Ciudad Juarez, a Texas border city.
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto had no plans to extradite Guzman until his escape. Once recaptured, the present ordered the attorney general office to expedite the process.
If eventually extradited, El Chapo’s United States trial would be massive. His cartel is accused of multiple murders untold in Mexico, while providing drugs such as cocaine to persons in the U.S.
~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A. Psychology