Mexican drug lord moves to block US extradition

Mexico's powerful drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman sought to prevent extradition bids by the United States, where he faces charges for smuggling massive amounts of cocaine.

Federal prosecutors in New York announced plans to request Guzman's extradition, while several other US cities have indicted him on a slew of other offenses.

The 56-year-old Sinaloa cartel boss is already facing drug trafficking and organized crime charges at home, with a Mexican judge required to decide by Tuesday whether to put him on trial.

Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong said the government is expecting a US request and did not rule out extraditing Guzman.

"The security cabinet will have to meet to decide what's best," Osorio Chong told Radio Formula.

After 13 years on the lam, the 56-year-old drug lord was captured by Mexican marines in the Pacific beach town of Mazatlan on Saturday following a US-backed manhunt that involved cellphone taps and use of a drone.

His beauty-queen wife, Emma Coronel, who is in her mid-20s, and their two-year-old twin daughters were present during the arrest but later set free because "they had absolutely nothing to do with the criminal actions," said Osorio Chong.

Guzman's lawyers filed documents on Sunday and Monday seeking an injunction to prevent any extradition. A Mexican judge must decide whether to approve the injunction.

Legal experts said Guzman could be extradited to the United States before a Mexican trial or after being convicted here. Authorities could also decide to wait until he serves his full sentence in Mexico.

"From the moment that the United States requests the extradition, the foreign ministry had 30 days to decide whether to accept or reject the request," Julio Hernandez Barros, law professor at Iberoamericana University, told AFP.

Raul Benitez Manaut, a security expert at Mexico's National Autonomous University, said Guzman's injunction bid, known as an "amparo," is a tactic "to stay in Mexico and delay the case."

- Escape fears -

The United States had offered a $5 million reward for information leading to Guzman's capture, while the city of Chicago -- one the main destinations for his narcotics -- had branded him "Public Enemy Number One."

A senior US lawmaker, Michael McCaul, has called for his swift extradition to put him in prison in the United States, recalling that Guzman escaped once before in 2001.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said the decision whether to pursue extradition "will be the subject of further discussion between the United States and Mexico."

Mexican authorities are holding Guzman in a maximum-security prison located 90 kilometers (55 miles) west of Mexico City, where many of the country's most notorious criminals are held.

Nabbing Guzman, considered the world's biggest drug trafficker, was a major victory in President Enrique Pena Nieto's push to rein in drug violence in his country.

The Sinaloa cartel's turf wars with rival gangs contributed to a wave of drug violence that left more than 77,000 people dead in the past seven years.

- Drone, cellphone -

His arrest capped a months-long operation that resulted in the arrests of a dozen Sinaloa cartel operatives, including alleged bodyguards of Guzman's top associate, Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada.

An American government official told AFP on condition of anonymity that the US Drug Enforcement Administration provided the intelligence that led to the arrest and that "cellphone intercepts" were key.

A US-controlled surveillance drone was used for two weeks between mid-January and mid-February to back up a massive search in the northwestern city of Culiacan, the official said.

One of the world's most wanted men, Guzman had been spending most of his time in the Sinaloa state capital, living in houses with escape tunnels, extra thick walls and steel-reinforced doors, the official said.

Under pressure, he escaped through tunnels under one of his Culiacan houses as the marines closed in on him. He fled south to the tourist city of Mazatlan.

It was there that the marine unit captured him on Saturday, on the fourth floor of a condominium, without firing a shot.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Pacquiao sees fist of God delivering win over Mayweather
    Pacquiao sees fist of God delivering win over Mayweather

    Filipino boxing hero Manny Pacquiao is confident he can beat American arch-rival Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas on Saturday with the power of God, after abandoning a life he said was packed with sin condemning him to hell. Pacquiao is in top form both in mind and spirit after he traded his boozing, gambling and womanising ways for a devout life of prayer, his spiritual adviser, Jeric Soriano, told AFP in a recent Manila interview. Except the world got to him," Soriano said of Pacquiao's …

  • Profiles of foreigners due to be executed in Indonesia
    Profiles of foreigners due to be executed in Indonesia

    Eight foreign drug convicts are set to be executed in Indonesia after losing all appeals for clemency. Here are brief profiles of the inmates, who include two from Australia, one each from Brazil and the Philippines, and four from Africa. Myuran Sukumaran A ringleader of the Bali Nine drugs smuggling syndicate, Sukumaran was born in London in 1981 and moved with his Sri Lankan family to Australia when he was a child. Enticed by the prospect of easy money, in 2005 he helped to organise a …

  • Indonesia says will not delay execution of Filipina convict
    Indonesia says will not delay execution of Filipina convict

    JAKARTA (Reuters) - The execution of a Filipina drug convict by an Indonesian firing squad will not be delayed despite last-minute appeals by the Philippine government, the attorney general said on Tuesday. Indonesian President Joko Widodo earlier met with a migrant workers' group to discuss the case of Mary Jane Veloso, who is one of nine people set to be executed within hours. (Reporting by Rosemarie Francisco in MANLIA and Gayatri Suroyo in JAKARTA; Editing by Clarence Fernandez) …

  • Nine face midnight firing squad in Indonesia, hopes for reprieve gone
    Nine face midnight firing squad in Indonesia, hopes for reprieve gone

    By Kanupriya Kapoor CILACAP, Indonesia (Reuters) - Nine drug traffickers held emotional farewell meetings with their families at an Indonesian prison on Tuesday, after Jakarta rejected last-ditch pleas from around the world for clemency and ordered their mass execution to proceed within hours. "I won't see him again," said Raji Sukumaran, the mother of an Australian who will go before a firing squad along with a fellow countryman and convicts from Nigeria, Brazil, the Philippines and …

  • Aquino appeals to Indonesia one more time to keep Filipina alive
    Aquino appeals to Indonesia one more time to keep Filipina alive

    Philippine President Benigno Aquino said he made one last appeal to the Indonesian government to spare a Filipina among nine prisoners set to be executed for drug trafficking on Tuesday as she could be a vital witness in prosecuting drug syndicates. It was Aquino's third personal appeal, after the Indonesian attorney general rejected the Philippines' request on Monday for a second judicial review of the case of Mary Jane Veloso, who her lawyers say merely served as an unknowing mule to drug …

  • Cheapest motorcycles in the Philippines under PhP 40,000
    Cheapest motorcycles in the Philippines under PhP 40,000

    Are you hunting for an affordable motorcycle which you can use for personal use or a family service vehicle? Carmudi PH presents to you some of the cheapest motorcycles in the Philippines today. These budget friendly motorbikes will surely not hurt your pockets, and you may even buy them on the spot instead of monthly […] The post Cheapest motorcycles in the Philippines under PhP 40,000 appeared first on Carmudi Philippines. …

  • Indonesia gears up for executions as families wail in grief
    Indonesia gears up for executions as families wail in grief

    Indonesia made final preparations Tuesday to execute eight foreigners by firing squad, as family members wailed in grief during last visits to their loved ones and ambulances carrying white coffins arrived at the drug convicts' prison. Relatives of Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, the Australian ringleaders of the so-called "Bali Nine" heroin trafficking group, arrived at Nusakambangan prison calling for mercy for their loved ones, with Sukumaran's sister collapsing in grief. They are among …

  • Labor Day heat index may heat feverish levels

    Temperatures could soar on Labor Day this Friday, with the "init factor" reaching the 40°C level in some areas of the country. Labor Day is a holiday in the Philippines, though many Filipinos are expected to go out to the streets to call for better working conditions. The so-called "init factor" or "heat index" gives the apparent temperature, taking into account the actual air temperature as well as other factors such as humidity. State weather agency PAGASA's Tuesday heat index indicated …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options