Second Mexican judge approves 'El Chapo' Guzman's extradition to the US
May 16, 2016 10:38 PM EDT
A second Mexican judge has given his approval to another US extradition request for the notorious drug lord, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, judicial authorities announced on Monday. This gives the government less than a month to approve the process that can still be appealed.
According to ABC, the judge's ruling was on an extradition request from a federal court in Texas. This follows the same decision of another judge on a separate extradition request from a federal court in California.
Should the country's Foreign Affairs Ministry allow the said extradition, Guzman's attorneys may still appeal within 30 days, giving the Sinaloa drug cartel leader's extradition a chance to be months away.
Also on Monday, the Foreign Relations Department released a statement confirming that it has received the federal judge's notice and that it has 20 more days to decide on the matter.
The courts said the second case centers on charges for conspiracy to import and distribute cocaine and marijuana, money laundering, arms possession and murder, as per ABC News. Apart from the aforementioned charges, "El Chapo" Guzman faces more from several prosecutors in the United States, including San Diego, Miami, Chicago and New York.
One of Guzman's attorneys, Jose Refugio Rodriguez, said their party has already been notified as well of the judge's ruling and now awaits the government's decision. He added that they plan to pursue an injunction if the foreign ministry approves the extradition.
"We are going to do it, but not right away, because it's a process you have to fight with arguments," he said. "We have 30 days."
As noted by Business Insider, "El Chapo" Guzman was arrested in January. This is six months after he escaped a maximum security prison facility through a long tunnel that can be accessed through the floor of his bathroom.
In 2001, he has escaped from jail and has since become one of the world's most wanted fugitives until he was recaptured two years ago. He was imprisoned on the same Altipano prison where he recently escaped. However, just this month, he was moved to another facility near the United States border.