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'El Chapo' can be extradited to U.S., Mexican judge rules

By Andrew V. Pestano
A judge in the Council of the Federal Judiciary of Mexico has ruled that the United States' extradition request for drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman meets the requirements of an extradition treaty shared by both countries. File photo courtesy of Mexico's Attorney General
A judge in the Council of the Federal Judiciary of Mexico has ruled that the United States' extradition request for drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman meets the requirements of an extradition treaty shared by both countries. File photo courtesy of Mexico's Attorney General

MEXICO CITY, May 9 (UPI) -- A Mexican federal judge ruled drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman be extradited to the United States, though the final decision rests on Mexico's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Council of the Federal Judiciary of Mexico confirmed the opinion, in which the judge ruled favorably -- citing the extradition request by the United States' embassy in Mexico met the requirements in an extradition treaty shared by both countries, El Universal reported.

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Mexico's Ministry of Foreign Affairs will now have a month to authorize whether Guzman will be sent to the United States. Guzman could file an injunction if the ministry chooses to extradite, which could delay the move for up to a year.

Guzman's Sinaloa Cartel is credited with dominating the illegal drug market in nearly the entire United States. "El Chapo" -- meaning "The Short One" or "shorty" -- so dubbed because of his 5-foot-6-inch frame, was detained in Guatemala in 1993 and then extradited to Mexico to face murder and drug trafficking charges.

Guzman escaped from prison in 2001 by hiding in a laundry cart after bribing prison guards, and was re-captured in February 2014. He was captured in the city of Los Mochis in his home state of Sinaloa on Jan. 8 after escaping from Mexico's Altiplano Federal Prison on July 11.

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