US Formally Requests Ovidio Guzman Lopez’ Extradition

“Socalj” for Borderland Beat

The United States government has formalized its request for the extradition from Mexico of Ovidio Guzmán López “El Ratón”, son of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán. The formal request comes a week ahead of the March 5, 2023 deadline set for 40 days after his arrest in Culiacan which resulted in waves of violence in Sinaloa and other areas of Mexico. The operation and its aftermath left 29 dead, including 10 soldiers. The raid involved laying siege to the town of Culiacán, the capital of Sinaloa, and the neighboring town of Jesús María for more than 24 hours.
“El Raton” is being charged in Washington, DC with several counts of conspiracy to import cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana into the US. His indictment dates back to July 2017 but remained classified until January 2019. It was not until September of that year, however, that Washington filed the extradition request to Mexico. A month later, on October 17, 2019, Mexican authorities first captured Guzmán in Culiacán. Narco-blockades, shootouts, and riots in the city prompted President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to give the order to release him. The fiasco went down in history as the “Culiacanazo” and was one of the lowest moments for the current government in the struggle against the cartels.
Federal sources confirmed that the Attorney General’s Office (FGR) received the letter formalizing the extradition request together with the file containing evidence to support the charges against Ovidio for the request from the US. The FGR must present the file before the federal control judge of the State of Mexico that is handling the extradition process and request a hearing date.

Since his capture, two Mexican judges have suspended his extradition to the US without prior judicial proceedings. These decisions do not halt the extradition process, but instead, oblige appeals judges to ensure that the provisions of the bilateral extradition treaty are being respected.

Last week, it was discovered that an arrest warrant was issued by a federal judge in the state of Sonora for crimes that have not yet been revealed by authorities. From the Amparo his lawyers filed, he has a provisional suspension that protects him from the execution of the arrest warrant, unless it is issued for crimes that deserve preventive detention.

This comes shortly before the US OFAC sanctioned several Sinaloa Cartel operators and companies linked to fentanyl production and trafficking under Ovidio Guzman.

Sources Proceso, El Pais

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