Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman's extradition to the United States cleared another hurdle as a Mexican judge ruled in favor of extraditing the drug lord. The U.S. Department of Justice is reportedly planning to take Guzman to court to punish him for crimes associated with his alleged drug-smuggling empire.
The Mexican Attorney General's Office said Thursday that the judge rejected two of the five injunctions presented by Guzman's legal team against the extradition request. Previously, three of the injunctions had been struck down. Guzman is one of the most notorious drug kingpins in the world and is wanted in the U.S. on several charges from murder to drug trafficking.
Andres Granados, one of Guzman's lawyers, said he would seek a Supreme Court hearing and is planning to take the case to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Mexico's foreign ministry previously said it had received assurances that if convicted, Guzman would not receive the death penalty.
Last week, National Security Commissioner Renato Sales said that there were possibilities that Guzman could be extradited in January or February 2017.
Currently, Guzman is being held in a maximum-security prison in the Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez, near the U.S. border. He was arrested in January after six months on the run, following his escape through a tunnel in his jail at the Altiplano maximum-security prison near Mexico City, where he was being held. Guzman’s first prison escape came in 2001, following which he was on the run until 2014.