Which Will Come First: El Chapo’s Next Escape, or His Extradition to the US?

GLOBAL POST — Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, considered one of most violent heads of any drug cartel in Mexico, is currently behind bars again — in a Mexican prison. But perhaps not for long.

He was moved over the weekend from one high security prison to another, closer to the US border. That was followed by news Monday that a Mexican federal judge has ruled that El Chapo can be extradited to the US where he faces drug trafficking charges.

“It’s good news, but incomplete news,” says Alejandro Hope, security and justice editor at El Daily Post in Mexico City. “El Chapo will not be extradited anytime soon, not yet. What the federal judge did was to offer a non-binding ruling asserting that extradition is legal, but there are still a number of hurdles that have to be jumped over.”

Legal experts say it could take weeks or possibly months to overcome those hurdles. Mexico’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has to meet formal legal requirements and El Chapo’s legal defense team has several options to try to block any extradition.

So why was El Chapo moved to a prison closer to the US border, to the northern city of Ciudad Juarez?

Speculation is rampant.

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