US officials have confirmed that notorious Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman has been extradited to the US to face life in a US prison, on drug trafficking and smuggling charges in the country. The Mexican government made the announcement on Thursday. The leader of the Sinaloa cartel was facing two extradition requests – one from California and another from Texas for smuggling vast amounts of drugs into the country.
Last year he was moved to a prison in Ciudad Juarez, which is across the border from El Paso in Texas, but authorities at the time denied the transfer was a precursor to extradition. The decision to extradite Mr. Guzmán was an about-face for the Mexican government, which once claimed that he would serve his long sentence in Mexico first.
The extradition of “El Chapo”Guzman to the United States brings to an end one of the most notorious drug lord sagas of modern times. Believed to have amassed a billion dollar fortune through the illegal drug trade, Guzman had always made headlines.
He escaped from prison in 2001 and was captured in 2014 but he escaped from prison shortly after. Mr Guzman fought really hard to stay in Mexico but his appeals were rejected. He was under close watch, having previously broken out of two Mexican high-security jails.
Mr. Guzmán was put on a plane on Thursday in Ciudad Juárez, near the border with Texas, and was set to arrive in the United States as President Obama leaves office.