Notorious Mexican drug trafficker Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán was recaptured by Mexican authorities Friday after escaping from prison in mid-July. During his recapture, five people reportedly were killed in a shootout in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, and many people have been left wondering whether the former fugitive could be extradited to the United States.
“Our government wants him badly but we have to be respectful of Mexico,” Mike Braun, a 24-year veteran of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration who retired as the assistant administrator and chief of operations and who now runs his own security firm, SGI Global, told Forbes. “With all that said, I think the president of Mexico does not want to suffer another very embarrassing situation like the last time [Guzmán] escaped and the only way to prevent it is to put his butt on a plane with DEA and U.S. marshals and send him to the U.S. I think we might see that within days. We will have to wait see.”
The U.S. Justice Department previously has sought extradition of El Chapo to the United States, CNN reported. An extradition request reportedly was confirmed Friday by a U.S. Homeland Security official who asked not to be identified, Fusion reported.
Trasciende primera imagen de la captura del Chapo Guzmán, en Los Mochis, Sinaloa pic.twitter.com/2cc89wdvLd
— JOSÉ CÁRDENAS (@JoseCardenas1) January 8, 2016
“We are in talks with the Mexican government regarding Guzmán’s extradition. It would be the most convenient for both governments and the Mexican people,” the official told Fusion in a phone interview.
The high-profile drug lord is well-known for being somewhat of an escape artist. Last year’s jailbreak was actually the second time he managed to break out of prison. In 2001, he escaped from jail when he reportedly hid in a laundry cart that an accomplice pushed out of the complex. After being recaptured in February 2014, Guzmán was discovered missing from his cell in July at Atiplano, and guards discovered a mile-long tunnel to the outside. The drug lord managed to elude police for six months before being recaptured Friday.
"He’s getting old, and he’s getting sloppy," an anonymous DEA agent told the Washington Times earlier week. "Everyone is looking for him, and we’ll get him again."
The 58-year-old drug lord was born and raised in rural poverty, and went on to become the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, which is a $3 billion drug trafficking empire that controls roughly 25 percent of all marijuana, cocaine and heroin imported into the United States, the Atlantic previously reported.