Sunday, March 9, 2014

Mexico: Guzmán's extradition to U.S. is inevitable

Guadalajara -
In a weekend interview with the Spanish language network Univision, Mexican ambassador to the U.S. Eduardo Medina Mora said that the extradition of former Sinaloa Cartel boss Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán is "not a question of 'if,' but when."

Guzmán was arrested in Mazatlán, Sinaloa on Feb. 22, 13 years and one month after he escaped from a high security federal prison. There are many federal charges pending against him in the U.S. Guzmán's sons threaten violence, while U.S. congressman calls for his immediate extradition.

Medina Mora said El Chapo's eventual extradition will benefit both countries.

On Mar. 5 a Mexican federal judge dissolved an injunction which he had issued Feb. 24, preventing Guzmán's transfer until further legal proceedings on the issue are conducted in this country. In lifting the amparo order, equivalent to an Anglo-American writ of habeas corpus, the judge noted the U.S. has not yet submitted a formal extradition application, rendering the question premature. When it does the issue is sure to be litigated again here, which could delay a hand over for many months.

"When the application is submitted, then we'll respond in the correct legal manner," the ambassador told Univision. "It's not a matter of whether or not Guzmán will be extradited, but when."

El Chapo has 13 years remaining on the sentence he was serving when he escaped in January 2001. He has at least five new federal criminal cases against him in Mexico, some of which were filed after he was arrested two weeks ago.

"It should be remembered that most of the charges he faces in the United States have no statute of limitations," said Medina Mora. "Between our two countries, we have enough charges against Mr. Guzmán to keep him in prison for a very long time."

"We have recognized and we greatly value the cooperation of the U.S. in this case. The information which was shared with Mexican authorities over many months permitted us to come up with a plan that, at the first possible opportunity, was executed so we were able to capture him," he said.

"It was a great success, and a clear demonstration of the maturity which characterizes the strategic cooperation between Mexico and the U.S. as together we fight transnational criminal organizations," Medina Mora added.

Mar. 3 - Mexican Church has harsh words for government over El Chapo Guzmán's capture, and official corruption

Apr. 15 - Mexican Attorney General Jesús Murillo Karam suggested yesterday that El Chapo's handover to U.S. authorities could be a long way off, in comments which were very different from Medina Mora's five weeks ago.

© MGR 2014. All rights reserved. This article may be cited or briefly quoted with proper attribution or a hyperlink, but not reproduced without permission.

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