Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán, Mexican drug lord, has been extradited to the US. Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, the cartel kingpin who made two daring escapes from high-security prisons and lived on the run for years, has been extradited to the United States where he faces prosecution on narcotics and other charges.
The Mexican foreign ministry announced the extradition in a short statement on Thursday afternoon, saying Guzmán had exhausted his appeals against his extradition.
The US embassy in Mexico City said late on Thursday that the plane carrying Guzmán had landed at MacArthur international airport in Long Island, New York, one of the US jurisdictions where he faces charges.
The announcement comes a little over a year after his recapture in a seedy motel in the the city of Los Mochis – an arrest which Mexican authorities say came about after federal agents trailed the actor Sean Penn to a clandestine meeting with the fugitive kingpin.
According to the Associated Press, the US Drug Enforcement Administration took custody of Guzmán in the border town of Ciudad Juárez, before putting him on a plane for the US.
Guzmán faces the possibility of life in a US prison under multiple indictments in six jurisdictions around the United States, including New York, San Diego, Chicago and Miami.
Former officials who helped spearhead the US’s drug war told the Guardian the extradition appeared to be a gift from President Enrique Pena Nieto’s government to Donald Trump, who will be sworn in as the US president on Friday.
“This is Mexico’s inaugural present, just like when Iran freed the hostages during President Reagan’s inauguration,” said Robert Feitel, a Washington-based attorney who pursued traffickers and money launderers at the Department of Justice. “It’s the same kind of political posturing.”