Mexico has formally started the extradition process of drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman to the United States.
Guzman escaped from a maximum security prison in July 2015 and was recaptured on Friday. Mexico is currently considering whether to investigate Hollywood A-lister Sean Penn, who interviewed El Chapo after the jail break of the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel. Guzman’s organisation has smuggled drugs worth billions of dollars into the U.S.
The United States requested the drug kingpin’s extradition in June 2015, just two weeks before his escape through a mile-long tunnel that burrowed right up through the floor of his cell. Guzman now faces federal accusations in Chicago and other U.S. jurisdictions, including Texas, Florida and eastern district of New York. Chicago Tribune cited Andrew Porter, a former federal prosecutor as saying that “they [Mexican government] have had him in custody twice and failed.” Porter judged that the United States “could promise a fair and impartial trial.”
Meanwhile, Mexican officials have warned that the extradition process could take a while. According to the drug kingpin’s attorney Juan Pablo Badillo, the defence has filed six motions to challenge extradition requests. Badillo said his client should not be extradited to the United States because “our country must respect national sovereignty, the sovereignty of its institutions to impart justice.”