Mexico’s Foreign Ministry has approved the extradition of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman to the United States, saying the American government provided “sufficient assurances” that it would not seek the death penalty.
Guzman can still appeal, but if he chooses not to, his extradition will be imminent.
A U.S. Department of Justice official said: “We understand that the Mexican Foreign Ministry has now approved our two requests for extradition, following their approval by Mexican courts. Under Mexican law, Chapo Guzman will now have the opportunity to appeal the Foreign Ministry’s decision.”
According to the Associated Press, Guzman has 30 days to appeal.
Guzman was captured in January after six months on the run and the U.S. extradition request for Guzman was initiated just after his capture.
The extradition was sought by the Federal District Court for the Western District of Texas, on charges of conspiracy, against health, organized crime, weapons possession, murder and money laundering, and by the District Court of the United States for the Southern District of California, on the charge of association to import and possess with intent to distribute cocaine.
Since his capture, Guzman had been housed in the maximum-security Altiplano prison near Mexico City, but earlier this month he was transferred to the Ciudad Juarez jail in northern Mexico near the Texas border.