Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

Mexico Will Not Extradite Drug Lord to U.S.

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A Mexican judge ruled on Tuesday that Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán will stay in Mexico to face drug-trafficking charges. The former head of the Sinaloa cartel will not be extradited to the U.S. in the near future and will remain locked up in the country’s highest security prison while he awaits trial.

Guzmán, who was captured on Saturday after 13 years on the run, faces charges in at least seven U.S. jurisdictions. The U.S. attorney’s office had announced on Sunday that the U.S. would seek the extradition of “El Chapo,” whose cartel is said to be responsible for 80 percent of the drug trade in some of the U.S.’s biggest cities, and federal prosecutors in New York have indicted Guzmán for drug trafficking and money laundering. Mexican officials have announced that Guzmán must face local charges before they consider his extradition to the U.S.

“If and when we receive an extradition request, it will be analyzed by the appropriate Mexican legal authorities and if granted, Mexico will decide upon the right moment to execute that possible extradition request,” Ambassador Eduardo Medina-Mora said in a statement on Tuesday. Guzmán escaped from a maximum-security prison in January of 2001, seven years into a 20-year and nine-month sentence. Mexican officials have said he must face his original sentence and new charges in Mexico. Guzmán’s attorneys have filed a request to stop his extradition.

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