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US to Seek Extradition of Mexican Drug Lord

  • VOA News

Joaquin Guzman (C) is escorted by soldiers in Mexico City, Feb. 22, 2014.

Joaquin Guzman (C) is escorted by soldiers in Mexico City, Feb. 22, 2014.

U.S. prosecutors say they plan to seek the extradition of a Mexican drug lord to stand trial in the United States, but it was not immediately clear which country will try him first.

The United States had a $5 million bounty on the head of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, the world's most wanted drug kingpin who was arrested Saturday in Mexico after 13 years on the run. He faces numerous charges in the U.S., and prosecutors in New York said Sunday they want him returned there to stand trial.

But the 56-year-old Guzman also faces charges in Mexico, and an unfinished term there after his 2001 escape from a prison in a laundry cart.

He spent Sunday in a Mexican maximum security prison.

Mexican and U.S. authorities arrested him in a dawn raid Saturday without a shot being fired at a condominium in Mazatlan, a Pacific seaside resort in his home state of Sinaloa.

Later, he was flown in a police helicopter to the prison.

Authorities said they had tracked him for weeks and came close to capturing him a week ago.

But Mexican Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam said the drug kingpin managed to escape then in a specially built tunnel linked to the drainage system in Culiacan, Sinaloa's largest city. He said police were slowed as they broke down steel-reinforced doors in one of the seven homes he was using.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder hailed the arrest as "a landmark achievement" for Mexico and the United States. Guzman's global drug organization was the leading U.S. cocaine supplier.

The U.S city of Chicago, where drug-related gang violence is a major problem, has declared Guzman "Public Enemy Number One." He is the first criminal to earn that label since the legendary organized crime boss and prohibition magnate Al Capone in the 1920s.
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