Mexico approves “El Chapo’s” extradition to US

CCTV News

Joaquin El Chapo Guzman in handcuffs being escorted by the police 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, after he was recaptured from breaking out of a maximum security prison in Mexico. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File)

Mexico’s Foreign Ministry has decided that the extradition of drug kingpin, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman to the United States can move forward.

CCTV’s Franc Contreras reports from Mexico City, it’s one of the most closely watched drug trafficking stories in the world.

Mexico approves “El Chapo’s” extradition to US

Mexico approves “El Chapo’s” extradition to US

Mexico's Foreign Ministry has decided that the extradition of drug kingpin, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman to the United States can move forward. CCTV's Franc Contreras reports from Mexico City, it's one of the most closely watched drug trafficking stories in the world.

Joaquin El Chapo Guzman is the convicted leader of the Sinaloa cartel, one of the world’s most powerful and violent drug trafficking organizations.

Guzman, a billionaire, captured global attention by escaping twice from maximum-security prisons in Mexico – first in 2001, and then in the summer of 2015 through a $1 million tunnel.

Besides his convictions for drug trafficking in Mexico, he’s also wanted in seven U.S. federal courts on charges ranging from cocaine and marijuana trafficking, to money laundering and murder.

The decision by Mexico’s Foreign Ministry to allow Guzman’s extradition to move forward comes with this condition:

“The U.S. government provided sufficient assurances that the death penalty shall not apply to Mr. Guzman Loera if he is extradited and tried in that country.”

Mexico says the U.S. government has promised that Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman will not face the death penalty if he ends up serving jail time in that country.

Chapo Guzman’s two brazen escapes from the Puente Grande and Altiplano maximum security prisons have further damaged Mexico’s image as a country whose justice system is far too corrupt to contain a prisoner of this level.

Analicia Ruiz, Anahuac University expert on U.S.- Mexico relations, says by opening the way for this extradition, Mexico wants to show Washington that it is a good ally.

Guzman’s legal team says they’ll appeal the extradition all the way to Mexico’s Supreme Court if necessary.

The jailed drug kingpin’s lawyers are also waging a public-relations offensive, organizing protests and speaking to news media – all in an effort to make certain their client never ends up spending a life sentence behind bars in the U.S.