Mexican Judge to US: You Can Have El Chapo

Infamous drug lord would be sent to Brooklyn
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted May 9, 2016 2:40 PM CDT
Mexican Judge to US: You Can Have El Chapo
In this Jan. 8, 2016, file photo, Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is escorted by army soldiers to a waiting helicopter, at a federal hangar in Mexico City.    (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File)

Looks like Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman will be facing trial in the US, CNN reports. A Mexican judge has ruled that Guzman, who was recaptured in January after a stunning 2015 prison breakout, can be extradited to the States. If that happens, officials say he'll go to Brooklyn on federal charges—but his extradition isn't a slam dunk. As the New York Times explains, the Ministry of Foreign Relations in Mexico first has to approve the move over the next 30 days. "The ball is now in the Foreign Ministry’s court and they have a month to execute the process or not," says a spokesman for the Mexican judiciary. "They have been notified and received the file."

"There is nothing, legally speaking that could impede the extradition, from the judicial system point of view," adds the spokesman. But one of Guzman's attorneys calls the move a human rights violation and says there are nine appeals pending against it, Reuters reports. Government officials say it's mostly a political decision and will depend on President Enrique Peña Nieto. Meanwhile, Guzman was transferred over the weekend to a prison in Ciudad Juárez, a city just south of El Paso along the Texas border. Why isn't clear, but the move might ease his eventual extradition; it also comes a month after Guzman's top lawyer complained that conditions at Altiplano lockup in central Mexico were making Guzman ill. (More Mexico stories.)

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