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Another Mexican judge approves 'El Chapo' extradition to U.S.

By Andrew V. Pestano
A judge in the Council of the Federal Judiciary of Mexico last week 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. Another judge on Monday ruled Guzman's extradition can proceed. File photo courtesy of Mexico's Attorney General
A judge in the Council of the Federal Judiciary of Mexico last week 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. Another judge on Monday ruled Guzman's extradition can proceed. File photo courtesy of Mexico's Attorney General

MEXICO CITY, May 17 (UPI) -- A second Mexican judge has ruled drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman can be extradited to the United States, though the final decision rests with Mexico's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The ministry has about 20 days to make a decision about whether Guzman will be extradited to the United States to face drug, murder and money laundering charges -- among others. Guzman could file an injunction if the ministry chooses to extradite, which could delay the move for up to a year.

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The second judge made a ruling following an extradition request from a U.S. federal court in Texas on additional charges of conspiracy to import and distribute cocaine and marijuana, as well as arms possession, El Universal reported. Guzman could face charges from seven federal prosecutors in the United States in cities including New York, Miami, Chicago and San Diego.

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.

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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.

Last week, the Council of the Federal Judiciary of Mexico confirmed an opinion by a judge in which the judge ruled favorably for Guzman's extradition -- citing the extradition request by the United States' embassy in Mexico met the requirements in an extradition treaty shared by both countries.

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