Drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was transferred out of Mexico’s Altiplano prison on Saturday and moved to a Ciudad Juarez lockup near the Mexico-United States border. The notorious drug dealer escaped from Altiplano in 2015.
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Mexico’s Interior Department stated the reason for moving Guzman was to allow for security upgrades at Altiplano.
The move could indicate that Guzman is one step closer to being extradited to the U.S. Lawyers for the drug kingpin have filed several appeals to fight possible extradition. If he is, Guzman will be transferred to Brooklyn, New York.
However, a spokesman for the president’s office responded to these and said Guzman’s transfer had “absolutely nothing” to do with a possible extradition, AFP reported.
Guzman staged one of the most notorious prison escapes in recent history when escaping the Altiplano in July 2015. Guzman was hiding around the coastal city of Los Mochis in the state of Sinaloa when he was recaptured on January 8. When Guzman was sent back to Altiplano, he was being moved inside the prison out of fear that he may try to escape again.
Mexico drug boss 'Chapo' moved to border jail, U.S. extradition not imminent https://t.co/degvMMKzuF
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The Mexican National Safety Commission said Guzman was transferred to the “CEFERESO No. 9” facility in Ciudad Juarez, in the northern state of Chihuahua, and the transfer was carried out with full respect for the human rights of the inmate.
It is still unclear if the U.S. will extradite Guzman immediately. When he is, however, he will be sent to Brooklyn, New York to face trial on federal charges. The U.S Department of Justice has been interviewing prosecutors handling pending cases against Guzman.
Guzman faces as many as ten legal cases in Mexico, but also in several U.S. states, including Arizona, Texas, New York, Florida and others.