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Mexico: 'El Chapo' extradition could take up to six years

By Andrew V. Pestano Follow @AVPLive9 Contact the Author   |   Updated Jan. 11, 2016 at 2:55 PM

MEXICO CITY, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman was served extradition orders on Sunday, but the Mexican government says it could take six years to extradite him to the United States.

Guzman was captured on Friday in the city of Los Mochis in his home state of Sinaloa. On Sunday, the Mexican government announced that the extradition process for Guzman had formally begun.

"Today, elements of Interpol Mexico assigned to the Agency of Criminal Investigation executed inside the Federal Social Rehabilitation Center No. 1 both formal detention orders for extradition against Joaquin Guzman Loera," the Mexican government wrote in a statement.

But it may take years for Guzman to see a U.S. prison cell -- if he ever sees one at all.

José Manuel Merino Madrid, the director general of Mexico's extradition office -- the International Processes of the Attorney General of the Republic -- on Monday told Radio Formula that it could take at least a year for Guzman to be delivered to the United States.

Merino said Guzman's lawyers could pursue a multitude of potential legal appeals that could delay the process for up to six years in a process that "can take considerable time... depending on the resources used to defend the defendants."

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