Mexico government approves extradition of drug boss ‘El Chapo’ Guzman to U.S.

MEXICO CITY Mexico has approved the extradition of drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman to the United States and has received guarantees the death penalty will not be sought against him, the foreign ministry said on Friday.

Under Mexican law, Guzman can appeal the decision, possibly delaying the process for weeks or months.

Juan Pablo Badillo, one of Guzman’s lawyers, told Reuters he would file “many” legal challenges in the coming days.

Guzman, head of the Sinaloa drug cartel, was one of the world’s most wanted drug kingpins until his capture in January, six months after he broke out of a high-security penitentiary in central Mexico through a mile-long tunnel.

The ministry said he would face charges including drug trafficking, money laundering and murder in U.S. federal courts in California and Texas.

President Enrique Pena Nieto said soon after Guzman’s recapture that he would take steps to ensure his extradition as soon as possible.

(Reporting by Luis Rojas; Writing by Michael O’Boyle and Gabriel Stargarter; Editing by Simon Gardner and Tom Brown)

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