News / Americas

Mexican Drug Kingpin Seeks to Block US Extradition

Joaquin "Shorty" Guzman is escorted to a helicopter in handcuffs by Mexican Marines at a Navy hangar in Mexico City, Feb. 22, 2014.
Joaquin "Shorty" Guzman is escorted to a helicopter in handcuffs by Mexican Marines at a Navy hangar in Mexico City, Feb. 22, 2014.
Reuters
— Lawyers for Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin "Shorty" Guzman on Monday filed an injunction to block any move to extradite him to the United States after he
was captured and charged with drugs and arms trafficking, an official said.

Guzman, Mexico's most wanted criminal and boss of the feared Sinaloa Cartel, was caught in the northwest of the country with help from U.S. agents in a pre-dawn raid on Saturday.

The dramatic capture ended his reign as one of the world's most notorious organized crime bosses, and was a major victory for the Mexican government in a long, brutal war.

According to a Mexican justice official, Guzman's lawyers filed the injunction on Monday after the spokesman for a U.S. federal prosecutor said he planned to seek "El Chapo's" extradition to face trial in the United States.

However, it is still unclear whether that will happen, and extradition proceedings can take years to complete.

Earlier on Monday, a U.S. Justice Department spokesman said an extradition decision would "be the subject of further discussion between the United States and Mexico".

U.S. officials said that President Barack Obama's administration wanted to avoid looking like it was putting pressure on Mexico to move quickly on an extradition.

Mexico has not yet said whether it is ready to do so.

"The security cabinet will need to meet and take the most appropriate decision," Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong told a radio station on Monday.

Sensitivities over the issue could mean Guzman is more likely to face justice first in Mexico, where he still has an outstanding term to finish after he broke out of prison in 2001.

Fears of a repeat escape might encourage Mexico's government to hand Guzman over to the United States, but it would also be a tacit admission of ongoing weakness in the justice system.

Crime bosses have served terms first in one country, then the other.
 
While Guzman has been charged with an array of crimes in Mexico, murder is not among them, government and justice officials said. That is despite accusations by security officials that his cartel was behind thousands of killings.

"The main charges against him are for organized crime, drug trafficking, arms trafficking," said an official at the attorney general's office, adding there were six arrest orders for Guzman.

"There were no murder charges ... in any of the arrest orders," the official added. The charges could carry a combined total sentence of up to 400 years, the officials said.

The 56-year-old kingpin is being held in the Altiplano prison in the State of Mexico, outside the capital. He gave a brief statement to a judge on Sunday, and is being kept in a cell alone in a maximum-security area.

More than 80,000 people have been killed in Mexico's cartel violence over the last seven years with much of the killing in western and northern regions at the heart of smuggling routes.

The United States had a $5 million bounty on Guzman's head.

His cartel has smuggled billions of dollars' worth of cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine into the United States, and fought brutal turf wars with other gangs across Mexico.

In addition to facing U.S. criminal charges in Chicago and New York, Guzman was indicted in 2007 in Miami for cocaine smuggling, with additional charges added last month.

He was also charged in Texas with importing cocaine and marijuana, money laundering, firearms violations and running a criminal enterprise that included murder.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

S. Africa Launches Campaign Against US Cuba Sanctions

ANC pledges to work against long-standing US sanctions
More

Honduran President Links Border Crisis to US Policy Divide

Human, drug traffickers 'perversely' exploit confusion about US immigration policy, Juan Orlando Hernandez tells reporters on Capitol Hill
More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US
More

House Republicans Present Border Plan for Child Migrant Crisis

Proposal, they say, offers alternative to emergency funding requested by President Obama to deal with massive influx of illegals
More

US Ambassador Calls for LGBT Rights

John Berry spoke at the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne
More

China's Xi Praises Close Ties with Cuba

Head of China's Communist Party hails common socialist bond between his country and Cuba as he kicks off a state visit in Havana
More