Mexico City – Two of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s lawyers filed Friday an appeal against two U.S. extradition requests approved by Mexican courts, but a third lawyer said Saturday the appeal negatively impacts the client’s defense. Attorney Jose Refugio Rodriguez explained The Associated Press that the courts could not take any action because the jailed drug lord had not authorized the lawyer’s decision.
Rodriguez declared in March that Guzman desperately wanted extradition because he was reportedly living under “mental and physical torture” in Mexico. The Sinaloa cartel boss was recently transferred to a federal prison near Ciudad Juarez, which borders El Paso, Texas. Authorities said the move was due to security improvements in the Altiplano lockup near Mexico City, where Guzman was previously held.
“This hurts Joaquin Guzman because it hinders our defense,” Rodriguez said, as reported by The Washington Post.
The attorney affirmed that the lawyers who filed the appeal are not part of the team in charge of the extradition case and that the team is still listening to the government’s arguments. He added that he and his colleges were planning an appeal in the coming weeks that their client will authorize.
Rodriguez suggested that Juan Pablo Badillo and Jose Luis Gonzalez Mesa, the lawyers behind the appeal, may have acted as a result of “a desire for notoriety”, according to The Post.
Badillo and Mesa claimed Friday in a press conference that the extradition violated the Mexican constitution and said that they turned in the appeal to the nation’s Supreme Court, TeleSur reported. The Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, Government Secretary Miguel Angel Osorio and Foreign Secretary Claudia Ruiz Massieu were accused of violating the country’s laws.
Mexico’s Foreign Ministry announced earlier that day it had authorized Guzman’s transfer to the United States to face charges of murder, money-laundering, arms possession and conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana. The convicted drug lord would appear in courts in Texas, California, Chicago, New York and Miami, among other U.S. jurisdictions.
Guzman’s lawyers can appeal within 30 days and the final decision could take months to be reached if the case goes to the Supreme Court.
How the Sinaloa cartel boss got here
Joaquin Guzman escaped from a Mexican prison in 2001 and spent more than a decade as one of the world’s most wanted outlaws before authorities recaptured him in 2014, only to break out again a year later. He managed to escape through a mile-long tunnel dug to his cell’s shower at the Altiplano lockup.
“El Chapo” was recaptured by Mexican federal agents in January in Los Mochis, Sinaloa.
Source: Washington Post