A Second Judge Rules Mexican Drug Lord Can Be Extradited to the U.S.

LATIN AMERICAN HERALD TRIBUNE — MEXICO CITY – A federal judge has ruled that Joaquin “El Chapo” (Shorty) Guzman can be extradited by Mexico to Texas, marking the second ruling in favor of sending the Sinaloa cartel leader to face justice in the United States in 10 days, defense attorney Jose Refugio Rodriguez told EFE on Monday.

“The 8th Federal Criminal Court District in Mexico City notified us (of the ruling) on Friday. It’s the other extradition (case) that was pending over the Texas matter,” the defense attorney said.

Guzman faces criminal conspiracy, drug, money laundering, homicide, arms and other charges in the United States, Rodriguez said.

Another federal judge had ruled on May 6 that the U.S. extradition request for the Sinaloa cartel leader was valid.

Under the law, the Foreign Relations Secretariat had 20 days as of the day the ruling was issued to decide whether or not to extradite Guzman to the United States.

Guzman was transferred on May 7 from the Altiplano maximum-security prison outside Mexico City to a prison in Ciudad Juarez, located across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas.

President Enrique Peña Nieto said in January that Mexico was working to turn the drug lord over as quickly as possible to authorities in the United States, where he faces dozens of drug-trafficking and money-laundering charges in federal courts in Arizona, Texas, California, Illinois, Florida and New York.

Guzman escaped from the Altiplano prison through a 1.5-kilometer (nearly one-mile) tunnel dug to his cell on July 11, 2015.

He had earlier busted out of a Mexican prison in 2001 and evaded authorities for more than 13 years before being recaptured on Feb. 22, 2014, in the Pacific resort city of Mazatlan.

The drug lord was recaptured on Jan. 8 in his home state of Sinaloa.

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