MEXICO CITY, MAY 20 (EFE). — Mexico’s Foreign Relations Secretariat said Friday it had approved the extradition of notorious drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” (Shorty) Guzman to the United States so he can be tried by federal courts in California and Texas for a range of crimes.
In a statement, the secretariat said it conveyed its decision to the Sinaloa cartel leader, who on May 7 was transferred from the Altiplano prison in central Mexico to another penitentiary located in the northern border city of Ciudad Juarez.
“The extradition requests filed by the U.S. government fulfill each and every one of the requirements provided for” in the bilateral extradition treaty, the secretariat said.
It added that the U.S. government also would provide sufficient guarantees that the death penalty will not be imposed on Mr. Guzman after he is extradited and tried in that country.
The secretariat said “El Chapo,” who has escaped twice from maximumsecurity prisons in Mexico, can still appeal the decision within 30 days, meaning the process could still drag on for several months.
Guzman faces charges including criminal conspiracy, homicide and money laundering in a federal court in Texas and charges of conspiracy to import and distribute cocaine in a California federal court.
The Mexican government had opposed extradition but reversed course after Guzman escaped from Altiplano in July 2015 through a milelong tunnel dug to his cell.
He had earlier broken out of a prison in the western state of Jalisco in 2001 and spent more than 13 years on the run before being recaptured on Feb. 22, 2014, in the Pacific resort city of Mazatlan.
Guzman’s organization rose to become one of the main sources of illicit drugs entering the United States.
The Mexican kingpin’s wealth led to his name regularly appearing on Forbes magazine’s list of global billionaires.