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Mexico: U.S. requested El Chapo's extradition before escape

MEXICO CITY -- Mexico's government has confirmed that the United States filed an extradition request for drug lord Joaquin Guzman about 2 ½ weeks before he escaped from Mexico's highest-security prison.

The office of Attorney General's Arely Gomez issued a statement late Thursday saying she informed a congressional committee of the extradition request filed on June 25. The drug lord known as "El Chapo" sneaked out of the Altiplano prison through a tunnel on July 11.

Guzman faces U.S. charges of conspiracy to import and distribute cocaine.

The office said Gomez had issued instructions to review the request and submit it to courts for consideration. The appeals process can stretch out extradition proceedings for years.

Former Mexican Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam said earlier that Mexico wouldn't extradite Guzman until after he had served time for all his crimes in Mexico.

Murillo Karam told the Associated Press earlier this year that the U.S. would get Guzman in "about 300 or 400 years."

Mexico has blamed the escape on a combination of Guzman's skill at building tunnels, and misconduct or corruption that allowed his people to get their hands on the blueprints for the prison and tunnel directly into his shower stall undetected.

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