Mexican officials to pursue "El Chapo" extradition to US

Mexican authorities stand ready to extradite newly recaptured drug cartel boss Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman to the United States, the attorney general's office announced Saturday.

US extradition requests for Guzman, submitted in June and August 2015, must be approved by the appropriate courts and the foreign ministry, a statement from the attorney general said.

Guzman may contest the extradition, but the attorney general's office would challenge any such efforts.

Half a year after his brazen escape from a high security prison, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman was once again behind bars Saturday - in the same facility he broke free from last July.

Mexican marines recaptured the suspected head of the Sinaloa drug cartel on Friday in the Pacific Coast town of Los Mochis after a shootout that left five of Guzman's cohorts dead and six others arrested. One soldier was injured in the operation.

Guzman, who has escaped from prison twice, could face extradition to the United States.

According to Mexican attorney general Arely Gomez, Guzman fled his compound via a storm drain as security forces moved in on Friday morning. With soldiers in pursuit, Guzman and his security chief climbed to the surface via a manhole, stole a vehicle and headed north on the highway where they were apprehended.

Authorities held the two prisoners at a motel until reinforcements arrived, Gomez said.

"Damned pigs, you have us!" Guzman said upon being recaptured, the newspaper Milenio reported Saturday, citing security forces.

Photos showed "El Chapo" in custody, sitting on a bed in handcuffs and wearing a dirty undershirt. Investigators seized four armored vehicles, eight machine guns and assault rifles as well as a grenade launcher.

According to Gomez, Guzman's capture was made possible in part because he was seeking to make a film about his life's adventures and had reached out to actresses and producers.

Guzman was taken to El Altiplano prison on Friday night under a heavy police presence.

Initially arrested in 1993 in Guatemala and sentenced to 20 years in prison, Guzman served eight years before his first prison break, allegedly in a laundry cart, in 2001. After years on the run, he was re-captured in February 2014 in a hotel in the Sinaloan port city of Mazatlan.

Last update: Sun, 10/01/2016 - 04:10

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