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Mexico says it will fully comply with the U.S. extradition order for drug lord Chapo Guzman

January 9, 2016  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Mexico says it will fully comply with the U.S. extradition order for drug lord Chapo Guzman

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On Friday, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was sent back to the same Altiplano prison from which he escaped from in July. After six months on the run, he was captured in the small town of Los Mochis, in the mountains of Sinaloa.

After the arrest, President Enrique Peña Nieto hailed Guzman’s arrest as a victory for the rule of law. “Our institutions have shown once again that the citizens can trust these institutions,” Nieto said.

Now that “El Chapo” is in custody, the question of whether he will be extradited has been answered.

According to NBC News citing a source within the Attorney General’s Office, the Mexican government says it fully plans to fulfill an official extradition request from the United States for the notorious Sinaloa cartel boss.

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The drug lord showed no emotion as he was walked across the runway in front of dozens of Press and government officials

The news is surprising given the fact that Pena Nieto was never a big proponent of extradition the way his predecessor was. He was reluctant in the past to extradite Guzman to the U.S. Where he faces several indictments in San Diego, Brooklyn, N.Y., El Paso, Miami and Chicago, the city that listed him as the first “public enemy No. 1″ since Al Capone.

The President’s Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) have always held the policy of favoring national sovereignty, therefore choosing not to pander to U.S. pressure the way the more conservative PAN party often do.

The position has frustrated U.S. officials in the past, according to Mike Vigil, the former head of International Operations for the DEA. “Over the course of the PRI’s history there was never a lot of cooperation with the U.S. For example, under Peña Nieto there is only a single point of contact for U.S. law enforcement to go to,” Vigil said

However, despite the President’s stance in the past, he seems to have shifted his policy. Since Guzman’s escape in July, he ordered a number of high-level drug traffickers be turned over to U.S. authorities, among them was Edgar Valdez Villarreal, better known as “La Barbie.”

Villarreal languished in the same Mexican prison from which Guzman escaped from for five years before his extradition back to the U.S. in September.

The Texas-born drug lord coincidentally pled guilty on Wednesday to drug trafficking and money laundering charges in Atlanta Federal Court.

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Joaquin Guzman Loera recaptured six months since he escaped from Mexico’s most secure prison

The timing of when to expect Guzman’s extradition to the United States would depend on the legal process.

The billionaire drug lord has endless resources and an army of lawyers; His legal team will certainly file endless injunctions, or what’s called an “Amparo” in Mexico, calling the extradition unconstitutional and delaying the extradition process months or even years, possibly enough time for corrupt officials to compromise the entire process.

Extraditing Guzman to America will help calm fears the drug lord could escape again by bribing officials.

In an article published by Insight Crime’s Elyssia Pacheco, said many viewed “El Chapo’s extradition to the U.S. as a humiliating admission of the depth of incompetence that exists in Mexico.”

But added, “because Guzman already escaped prison twice, from a diplomatic and political vantage point, Mexican authorities would have a difficult time maintaining their previous position that Guzmán should face justice in Mexico.”

Calls for El Chapo’s quick extradition were the same after his February 2014 capture. Instead, Mexico’s government insisted it could handle the man who had already broken out of one maximum-security prison.

The Mexican President felt it was important for El Chapo first to meet his fate in the Mexican Justice system.

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Despite Chapo Guzman’s escape from the maximum security facility in July, Mexican marines delivered the cartel leader at the Altiplano jail overnight

Alejandro Hope, a security analyst in Mexico with the El Daily Post, predicted the government would turn over Guzman to the US authorities.

“Its almost forced, they have to extradite him,” Hope said. “Because there now is a formal extradition request in place from the U.S. government, which wasn’t the case after his last arrest in 2014.”

Hope added, “the U.S. government conceded the benefit of the doubt to the Mexican government two years ago, that is no longer the case, Mexico is left with no choice but to extradite him unless they have gone insane, they don’t want to run the risk of another prison escape.”

GOP Presidential candidate, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, echoed Hope’s thoughts and demanded that the Mexican government turn over custody of Guzman to U.S. authorities. “Given that ‘El Chapo’ has already escaped from Mexican prison twice, this third opportunity to bring him to justice cannot be squandered,” Rubio said.

However, former U.S. drug prosecutor Jimmy Gurule told NBC News he thought Nieto would not comply with the extradition order.

“It’s not just a question of national sovereignty. There’s also the possibility that Chapo Guzman, who has built an extensive network of corrupt government officials, could divulge information to U.S. authorities regarding the rampant corruption in Mexico,” he said.

“From a more cynical point of view, I think there are a lot of Mexican government officials who might be concerned if Guzman is extradited. If there’s a chance he’ll see the light of day or that his prison conditions could be somewhat softened, it would require him to cooperate,” Gurule said.

He added, “There’s no question he has valuable first-hand information on corrupt officials, if Chapo Guzman were to disclose the information he knows, it would be a further embarrassment to the Mexican government,” Gurule said.

Chapo Guzman’s capture and subsequent extradition will have little effect on stopping the flow of drug entering the U.S. or the violence plaguing Mexico.

Still, if Guzman is handed over to the U.S. there would, at least, be a finality to his story, which keeping him in Mexico won’t provide.

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