Watch CBS News

Mexican judge says "El Chapo" extradition can move ahead

Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman was transferred this weekend to a prison on the Texas border
Will El Chapo come to America? 01:44

MEXICO CITY- A Mexican judge says the extradition of drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman can move ahead, but the country's foreign ministry must still approve it and the defense can appeal.

The federal Judiciary Council said Monday the judge had agreed that the legal requirements laid out in the extradition treaty between the two countries had been met. The judge was not named.

The council oversees Mexico's federal judges and tribunals.

The ministry has 20 days to decide whether to approve Guzman's extradition to the United States.

Any extradition attempt can be delayed or stopped by a request to the court by attorneys for the Sinaloa cartel leader.

Guzman was moved Saturday from a prison outside Mexico City to one in Ciudad Juarez near the U.S. border.

Lawyers for Guzman, who was recaptured in January, have filed multiple appeals against their client being sent to the U.S., and Mexican officials have said it could take as long as a year to reach a final ruling. There was no immediate indication that the transfer could be a sign that the process is nearing conclusion.

Mexican government officials said the Sinaloa cartel boss was moved from the maximum-security Altiplano lockup near Mexico City to the Cefereso No. 9 prison in Ciudad Juarez, which is across from El Paso, Texas. The Interior Department said the move was due to work being done to reinforce security at Altiplano.

Juan Pablo Badillo, an attorney for Guzman, told CBS News he thought the move was "a form of torture."

"The move was done to destabilize Guzman emotionally and keep him away from his family and legal team, further complicate his legal defense," he said.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.