Second Mexican Judge Approves ‘El Chapo’ Extradition to U.S.

2nd-judge-extradition-el-chapo

A second Mexican judge has ruled in favor of extraditing notorious drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán to the United States, this time to face trial on murder, racketeering and other charges in Texas.

Last week, another judge ruled that Guzmán can be extradited from Mexico to face trafficking charges in Los Angeles. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said then that she expected an “imminent resolution” to the extradition requests.

The latest ruling, handed down Monday, is not likley to expedite extradition.

The Mexican Foreign Ministry has 20 days to review the requests. If approved, Guzmán’s lawyers would have a month to file an objection, which would further delay a final decision. Guzmán, leader of the Sinaloa cartel, faces federal charges in several U.S. cities.

Defense lawyer José Refugi told the international news agency EFE that his office had been notified of the judge’s decision. Refugi has vowed to fight extradition unless U.S. authorities work out a deal on prison conditions. Guzmán’s wife and legal team also have said El Chapo has faced threats in Mexican prison and his life could be in danger.

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SOURCE: USA Today, María Lourdes Hércules and John Bacon