Mexico ex­tra­di­tions part of new re­la­tions with US

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

Mexico just ex­tra­dited 13 peo­ple wanted in the United States, in­clud­ing two top drug traf­fick­ers, be­cause of a new stream­lined process be­tween the two coun­tries — and not be­cause of the re­cent es­cape of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guz­man, of­fi­cials said.

Jose Al­berto Ro­driguez, head of the in­ter­na­tional sec­tion of Mexico’s At­tor­ney Gen­eral’s Of­fice, de­nied on Thurs­day that the ex­tra­di­tions were a re­sponse to the em­bar­rass­ing July 11 es­cape from prison by Guz­man, Mexico’s most-wanted drug lord.

While it’s not un­prece­dented, 13 is the largest num­ber of ex­tra­di­tions in one day un­der the ad­min­is­tra­tion of Pres­i­dent En­rique Pena Ni­eto, who took of­fice in De­cem­ber of 2012. Ro­driguez told The As­so­ci­ated Press that the ex­tra­di­tions had been in the works in­de­pen­dently of Guz­man’s es­cape, and that U.S. and Mex­i­can author­i­ties had ear­lier reached an agree­ment to speedup the process.

“With or with­out the es­cape of ‘Chapo’ Guz­man, these ex­tra­di­tions were go­ing to hap­pen,” Ro­driguez said.

Un­der the agree­ment Ro­driguez out­lined, some ad­min­is­tra­tive steps that took 15 days will now take five, but he added that be­cause sus­pects have the right to ap­peal, the ex­tra­di­tion process will not take less than a year. He also said that Mexico will still make sure that na­tional author­i­ties have ob­tained all the in­for­ma­tion from the sus­pects needed to solve lo­cal crimes be­fore send­ing them north.

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