Back
Register for SMS Alerts
or enter your details manually below...
First Name:
Last Name:
Email:
Password:
Hometown:
Birthday:
Sorry, we couldn't find that email.
Existing users
Email
Password
Sorry, we couldn't find those details.
Enter Email
Sorry, we couldn't find that email.

Mexican kingpin Joaquin Guzman moved to jail on US border

Mexican drug lord transferred to a jail near the Texas border in a development that appears to bring him closer to extradition to the United States

8 May 2016, 4:53pm
Joaquin Guzman, the head of the Sinaloa drug cartel, was recaptured by Mexican marines in January after breaking out of a high-security prison through a mile-long tunnel
Joaquin Guzman, the head of the Sinaloa drug cartel, was recaptured by Mexican marines in January after breaking out of a high-security prison through a mile-long tunnel
Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was transferred from a jail in central Mexico to a prison in Ciudad Juarez in northern Mexico near the Texas border yesterday, a development that appears to bring him closer to extradition to the United States.

Guzman, head of the Sinaloa drug cartel, was one of the world’s most wanted drug kingpins until his capture in January, six months after he broke out of a high-security penitentiary in central Mexico through a mile-long tunnel.

Chapo faces charges ranging from money laundering to drug trafficking, kidnapping and murder in cities that include Chicago, Miami and both Brooklyn and Manhattan, New York.

Lawyers for Guzman have filed multiple appeals against their client’s extradition to the US, and Mexican officials have said it could take as long as a year to reach a final ruling. There was no immediate indication that the transfer could be a sign that the process is nearing conclusion.

The cartel boss was moved from the maximum-security Altiplano lockup near Mexico City to a prison in Ciudad Juárez, across the border from El Paso, a security official said, without giving a reason for the transfer. Mexico’s National Security Commission said in a statement that the transfer was in line with security protocols, and it has rotated more than 7,400 inmates nationwide as part of a strategy implemented last September.

Eduardo Sanchez, a spokesman for Mexico's presidency, said Guzman's transfer to the state of Chihuahua was due to upgrades at his previous location, the Altiplano jail in central Mexico, and not part of an effort to deport him to the United States.

However, a senior Mexican security official said Guzman should be extradited before July and would probably be housed initially in the U.S. prison in Marion, Illinois, pending trial.

"I think they'll do it in the first half of this year," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

A Chihuahua state official, who also asked to remain anonymous, said the presence of a U.S. consulate in Ciudad Juarez meant Guzman's handover could be processed faster than through the U.S. embassy. He said he believed Guzman would be moved to the United States in a matter of weeks.

Mexican security analyst Alejandro Hope called it plausible that Guzmán was moved due to upgrades being done at Altiplano, but said officials also may have feared the possibility of another jailbreak attempt.

El Chapo first broke out of a Mexican prison in 2001. He was recaptured in 2014, only to escape the Altiplano lockup the following year through a mile-long tunnel dug to the floor of the shower stall in his cell.

Mexican marines re-arrested him in the western state of Sinaloa in January, after he fled a safe house through a storm drain.

He was returned to Altiplano, where officials beefed up his security regimen. Guzmán was placed under constant observation from a ceiling camera with no blind spots, and the floors of top-security cells were reinforced with metal bars and a 16-inch layer of concrete.