Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman has been extradited and is en route to the United States, where he faces six indictments, officials said Thursday.
Mexican authorities had planned to turn Guzman, head of the Sinaloa cartel, over before Friday’s inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump, a US official told CNN’s Evan Perez. A court in Mexico City on Thursday denied Guzman’s appeal of the extradition.
The US Justice Department confirmed the announcement from Mexico’s Foreign Ministry and said details regarding the time and place of Guzman’s initial appearance are forthcoming.
“The Justice Department extends its gratitude to the Government of Mexico for their extensive cooperation and assistance in securing the extradition of Guzman Loera to the United States,” it said in a statement.
Guzman and other cartel leaders were indicted in 2009 in US District Court in Brooklyn, New York, on charges of conspiring to import more than 264,000 pounds of cocaine into the United States between 1990 and 2005. The alleged traffickers are accused of sharing drug transportation routes and obtaining their drugs from various Colombian drug organizations.
He also faces charges in Arizona, California, Texas, Illinois, New York, Florida and New Hampshire.
The kingpin was captured last January. He was transferred from the maximum-security Altiplano lockup in central Mexico, from which he escaped in 2015, to a prison in Ciudad Juarez, near the US border.
In August, his son was kidnapped from a Puerto Vallarta restaurant, in what was perceived as an attempt to exploit the cartel’s vulnerability. He was later freed.
The trafficking of heroin, marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine into the United States from Mexico is an annual $19 billion to 20 billion industry, according to a Department of Homeland Security report.
And the Sinaloa cartel has traditionally held a dominant share of that, thanks to Guzman’s sophisticated business strategies and Sinaloa’s control of trafficking routes. A Customs and Border Protection report that analyzed seizure data along the border between 2009 and 2010 found that “the removal of key personnel does not have a discernable impact on drug flows” into the US.
El Chapo was aware that drug trafficking won’t end once he’s gone. “The day I don’t exist, it’s not going to decrease in any way at all,” he told actor Sean Penn in an interview before he was captured.
Here’s a look at the life of Joaquín Guzmán, otherwise known as “El Chapo,” a Mexican drug lord who has repeatedly broken out of prison, and is set to be extradited to the United States to stand trial on federal charges.
Birth date: December 25, 1954 or April 4, 1957 (Officials have released conflicting birth dates)
Birth place: La Tuna, Badiraguato, Sinaloa, Mexico
Birth name: Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera
Father: Emilio Guzmán Bustillos, subsistence farmer
Mother: María Consuelo Loera Pérez
Marriages: Believed to have been married at least three times, the most recent being Emma Coronel Aispuro (2007-present)
Children: Is purported to have fathered between 12 and 13 children
The nickname, “El Chapo,” means “Shorty.” Guzmán stands 5 ‘6″ tall.
Leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, which the US Justice Department describes as “one of the world’s most prolific, violent and powerful drug cartels,” moving billions upon billions of dollars in marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.
Was able to continue running the Sinaloa Cartel in prison through bribes.
The Sinaloa Cartel controls roughly 40% to 60% of Mexico’s drug trade, with earnings at around $3 billion annually.
Claimed in 2014 that he has killed 2,000-3,000 people.
Is said to be semi-illiterate, receiving no formal education beyond third grade.
Is known for using intricate tunnel systems for both evading authorities and moving the massive quantities of drugs that made the Sinaloa Cartel so powerful.
His cartel has produced, smuggled and distributed marijuana, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and other types of drugs.
Has appeared on both Forbes’ World’s Billionaires List and Most Powerful People List.
According to the US Treasury Department, he is the most “powerful drug trafficker in the world.”
Guzmán is perceived by some as a hero, with many narcocorridos, “drug ballads,” that glorify kingpins, written in his honor.
Guzmán faces charges in 10 legal cases in Mexico, as well as federal charges in Arizona, California, Texas, Illinois, New York, Florida and New Hampshire.
1960s – Begins planting marijuana with his cousins.
1970s – Begins running drugs to major Mexican cities and the US border and working with major drug traffickers such as Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo, leader of the Guadalajara.
1980s – Member of the Guadalajara Cartel. After the arrest of Miguel Ángel Felix Gallardo, the cartel splits into factions. Guzmán becomes leader of the Sinaloa Cartel Pacific coast faction.
February 1992 – Police find the bodies of six Guzmán’s top lieutenants dumped along Tijuana highways; the six men had been tortured and shot.
November 1992 – Six people are gunned down at a discotheque in Puerto Vallarta by gunmen working for Guzmán, whose targets are traffickers in the Tijuana Cartel.
May 1993 – Gunmen with the Tijuana Cartel attempt to assassinate Guzmán in retribution, firing upon a vehicle at an airport. Guzmán escapes unharmed, but Cardinal Archbishop of Guadalajara Juan Jesús Posadas Ocampa, is killed accidentally, along with six others.
June 9, 1993 – Wanted on charges of drug trafficking, murder and kidnapping, he is arrested in Guatemala and extradited to Mexico. Guzmán is subsequently sentenced to a minimum of 20 years in a maximum security prison.
Early 2000s – Violence across Mexico escalates as El Chapo’s Sinaloa Cartel attempts to encroach upon Tijuana and Gulf Cartel territory.
January 19, 2001 – Escapes the maximum-security Puente Grande prison in Jalisco, Mexico, in a laundry cart. The planned escape requires bribes and cooperation allegedly costing him $2.5 million, according to Malcolm Beith’s book, “The Last Narco.”
2004 – The US government announces a $5 million reward for information leading to Guzmán’s arrest and conviction.
May 2008 – Guzmán’s son is murdered in a parking lot shootout near Culican, Mexico.
2009 – First appears on Forbes’ billionaires list.
2009 – Guzmán and other cartel leaders are indicted on charges of conspiring to import more than 264,000 pounds of cocaine into the United States between 1990 and 2005.
August 2011 – Guzmán’s wife, Emma, who has dual US-Mexican citizenship, gives birth to twin girls in a hospital outside of Los Angeles.
2012 – The US Treasury Department uses the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act to freeze the US assets of his relatives.
February 22, 2014 – Guzmán is apprehended at a beach resort in Mazatlán, Mexico.
July 11, 2015 – Escapes the maximum-security Altiplano Federal Prison near Toluca, Mexico, by crawling through an opening in the shower area of his cell block leading to a nearly mile-long tunnel.
October 2015 – While on the run, he meets with movie star Sean Penn and Mexican actress Kate del Castillo. Penn’s interview with Guzmán subsequently runs in Rolling Stone magazine. “I supply more heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana than anybody else in the world,” Guzmán is quoted in the interview. “I have a fleet of submarines, airplanes, trucks and boats.”
January 8, 2016 – Guzmán is recaptured by Mexican authorities in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, after a raid leads to a shootout in which five people connected to Guzmán are killed.
May 9, 2016 – A judge in Mexico approves the US’s request to extradite Guzmán, who faces charges in seven states. Once extradited, he will be sent to Brooklyn, New York, to stand trial on federal charges.
January 19, 2017 – Mexico’s Foreign Ministry turns Guzmán over to US authorities.
Source: KTLA CNN WIRE