Mexico extraditions part of new relations with US
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.