In Monday, the extradition of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman to the U.S. is moving forward. A federal judge has ruled that the extradition can move ahead. The decision was a response to the U.S. Department of Justice extradition request. Foreign Relations Department has 20 days to decide on the extradition while the defense will have 30 working days to stop the extradition with a court order. A U.S. official stated that the extradition can be expected by the end of the year.
Jose Refugio Rodriguez, lawyer for the drug lord, told Associated Press that he will pursue to stop the extradition from happening. He wants Guzman to return to Altiplano prison because he said his client’s defense will hurt due to his attorneys being so far from him.
Guzman was moved from the maximum-security Altiplano prison to a prison at Juarez near the U.S. border. The reason of why he was moved to another prison is still unclear. Cefereso No. 9 prison is in Ciudad Juarez, across from El Paso, Texas and it is said to be a less-secure prison. The region is also one of the Sinaloa drug cartel’s strongholds. However, Guzman will be monitored for 24-hour via camera with no blindspots.
Joaquin Guzman’s nickname means “Shorty” due to his stature of 5-foot-6 inch. He is the head of the Sinaloa drug cartel and one of the world’s most wanted drug kingpins. He escaped prison in 2001 through a laundry cart from a high-security prison. He also escaped the supposedly impenetrable maximum-security Altiplano facility in 2015 through a tunnel dug to his shower in his cell. Guzman was later recaptured in January.
According to American officials, U.S. are meticulously planning for Guzman’s transfer and establishing the security details. Once Guzman is handed to the United States, he will be sent to Brooklyn, to stand trial on federal charges.