Mexican authorities have formally begun the process to extradite Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán, the Mexican drug lord who was captured last Friday, to the U.S.
Interpol agents served him papers at the Altiplano prison, the facility near Mexico City where El Chapo is being held, the Mexican Attorney General’s Office said in a statement on its website. That’s the same prison from where El Chapo escaped in July 2015 after his arrest that February. He had previously escaped from a different prison—in 2001—by bribing officials and hiding in a laundry basket.
U.S. officials had filed a formal extradition request for El Chapo just three weeks before his escape in July, but, at that time, Mexican officials appeared resistant to hand over the head of the Sinaloa cartel.
“I can accept extradition, but when I say so,” Jesús Murillo Karam, the Mexican attorney general at the time, said, according to The New York Times. “El Chapo has to stay here and do his time, then I’ll extradite him. Some 300, 400 years later. That’s a lot of time.”
Just days later, Guzman escaped from the maximum-security facility after stepping into a shower and slipping into a tunnel, embarrassing the Mexican government and imperiling its counter-narcotics cooperation with the U.S.