MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican marines had barely faced down .50-caliber sniper guns and a loaded grenade launcher to recapture the world’s most notorious drug lord when the calls started coming: Extradite Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman to the United States. And soon.
Mexico’s leaders avoided talk about extradition following Guzman’s capture early Friday, but even if they decided to send him to the U.S., the process likely would not be fast. For now, they have sent him back to the Altiplano maximum-security prison from which he escaped in July.
Guzman, head of the powerful, international Sinaloa Cartel, was presented late Friday in dark blue athletic clothing. He was frog-marched to a helicopter by marines, who stopped mid-transit and turned his expressionless face toward the media for a clear view.
The calls for his quick extradition were the same as those after the February 2014 capture of Guzman, who faces drug-trafficking charges in several U.S. states. At the time, Mexico’s government insisted it could handle the man who had already broken out of one maximum-security prison, saying he must pay his debt to Mexican society first.