US Trades Murder Charge for El Chapo Extradition

By Jonathan R. Tung, Esq. on May 25, 2016 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

It seems that the world's largest trafficker in illicit drugs likes his prison in Mexico, or at least, he doesn't want to face jail and court time in America where he is less likely to escape this country's maximum security prisons.

It's a bit of an annoying development for American prosecutors who quietly agreed to drop multiple murder charges against Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman in order to ease his extradition and to face justice here. It looks like more grease will be needed.

Hours After Extradition

El Chapo's lawyers soon made an announcement to bring "many" legal challenges to the infamous drug kingpin's extradition to California only hours after Mexico's foreign ministry gave the go ahead. The simple act of filing these appeals could possibly slow down El Chapo's facing court time in California by many weeks.

A Habit of Escaping "Maximum Security" Structures

Guzman has a reputation for escaping prison through creative means. In 2001, he escaped imprisonment by hiding inside a laundry cart. For thirteen years, he was out on the lam dodging Mexican law enforcement's attempts to bring him in. But even when the authorities did wind up capturing him, the drug lord escaped by essentially strolling down a mile-long tunnel to end up in a safe-house appearing to have been specifically made for El Chapo's escape. The circumstances surrounding his escape have been an embarrassing reminder to Mexican authorities over the state of affairs in the country.

The Ugly Business of Trades and Plea Deals

American and even Mexican authorities have been keen to get Guzman stateside in order to fulfill two objectives: see that El Chapo is tried for his crimes that have affected millions of American Citizens, and to minimize further embarrassment on the part of the Mexican authorities who can't seem to keep the man inside his cell. The two countries have bargained back and forth as to what the proper arrangements will be. In order to ensure that Guzman will not executed in America, authorities decided to drop multiple murder charges and hope to hit Guzman hard over his crime production and trafficking crimes.

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