Drug Lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, the infamous Mexican drug kingpin, after escaping twice from maximum-security prisons in his country, was extradited from Mexico yesterday. The extradition was requested by the United States. ‘El Chapo’ will face drug trafficking and other charges.
Guzman, the convicted leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel, one of the world’s largest trafficking groups, spent Friday night in a New York jail. He will have his first appearance in a federal courthouse in Brooklyn today.
The announcement of Guzman being handed over to U.S. authorities came from Mexico’s Department of Foreign Relations. The announcement was made on the last full day Barack Obama was president and a day before Donald Trump was to be inaugurated. Some evaluate the extradition as being political. One lawyer, Andres Granados said, “It was illegal. They didn’t even notify us. They handled it politically to obscure the situation of the gas price hike. It’s totally political.
The last escape was an embarrassing situation for Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. Mexican officials were seen as eager to hand the drug lord over to the United States following the escape. However, a court denied Guzman’s appeal and found his extradition was constitutional, the Mexican department of Foreign Relations said.
Guzman, who is in his late 50s, escaped from prison the first time in 2001. He spent more than a decade on the run. He was recaptured but escaped once again in 2015 as he went through a mile-long tunnel which started from his shower in his cell.