MEXICO CITY (AFP) – The United States (US) has asked Mexico to extradite a son of jailed drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman accused of following in his father’s footsteps, a Mexican government spokesman said on Monday.
Ovidio Guzman, who was captured in January, has allegedly helped to run his father’s infamous Sinaloa cartel since El Chapo was handed over to the US in 2017.
The US embassy in Mexico City presented the extradition request to the Foreign Ministry and attorney general’s office, according to the spokesman, who did not want to be named because he was not authorised to speak on the issue. Ovidio Guzman secured a court order in January blocking his immediate extradition to the US, and a judge gave the US until March 5 to present an extradition request.
He is accused of helping to oversee nearly a dozen methamphetamine labs in Sinaloa as well as conspiring to distribute cocaine and marijuana, according to Washington.
He also allegedly ordered the murders of informants, a drug trafficker and a Mexican singer who refused to perform at his wedding.
He was captured briefly once before in 2019, but security forces freed him after his cartel waged an all-out war in response.
The US had offered a reward of up to USD5 million for information leading to the capture of the 32-year-old, whose arrest in the northwestern city of Culiacan sparked a violent cartel backlash.
Ten soldiers and 19 suspected criminals were killed during the operation in the Sinaloa cartel stronghold, with a dramatic shootout sowing terror at an airport.