Tagged: Chihuahua

Mexico grants extradition of drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman to U.S.

(USA TODAY) — Convicted drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman can be extradited to the United States, Mexico’s Foreign Relations Department said Friday.

The process can still be appealed, which means it could take weeks or months before the Sinaloa cartel leader may be sent north. Guzman’s lawyers have 30 days to appeal the decision.

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

If the extradition goes through, Guzman, who has escaped Mexican prisons twice and led authorities on a months-long search in 2015, will be transferred to U.S. Federal District Court for the Western District of Texas, according to a Mexican government website. The charges are conspiracy, organized crime, weapons possession, murder and money laundering. He will also be prosecuted in the Southern District of California on charges related to cocaine trafficking, according to the Mexican authorities.

The department said Friday that the United States has guaranteed that Guzman would not face the death penalty, which is not applied in Mexico.

Guzman made world headlines in July when he slipped out of his cell in the maximum security Altiplano federal prison and through a mile-long tunnel to freedom. The dramatic escape prompted a worldwide manhunt which concluded in January with his arrest following a deadly shootout in Los Mochis, a Mexican coastal city of 250,000 in Guzman’s home state of Sinaloa.

Attorney General Arely Gómez González said the search had drawn few valuable clues until Guzman reached out to actors and producers and began planning a biopic. That tipped off investigators to his location, and Gómez said a journey to the rugged Sierra Madre by American actor Sean Penn drew authorities to Guzman.

[READ MORE]

‘El Chapo’ extradition to U.S. may proceed, Mexican judge says

(NPR) — Two days after drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán was transferred to a prison near Juárez, a Mexican city near the U.S. border, a federal judge in Mexico said the extradition process can move forward.

An unnamed judge said the “legal requirements laid out in the extradition treaty” between the U.S. and Mexico had been met, The Associated Press reports, adding that Mexico’s foreign ministry has 20 days to approve the extradition.

NPR’s Carrie Kahn reported in January that Guzmán had been “indicted on drug and arms trafficking, money laundering and murder charges in at least six U.S. states.” In July 2015, Guzmán he escaped from Mexico’s supermax Altiplano prison through a mile-long tunnel. He was recaptured in January.

But the judge’s go-ahead for extradition is one step in what could still be a lengthy process. Lawyers for Guzman can still try to block or delay any attempts to extradite the infamous leader of the Sinaloa cartel.

As the Two-Way has reported, the head of Mexico’s extradition office, Miguel Merino, warned in January that Guzmán’s legal team could pursue various appeals that could delay the drug kingpin’s extradition for four to six years.

Reuters reports that “Juan Pablo Badillo, one of Guzmán’s lawyers, said his client’s legal situation was still being processed and that to extradite him now would be a violation of his human rights.” The news service adds that “government officials have said in private that the decision to extradite the drug lord is essentially a political decision dependent on the president.”

[READ MORE]

El Chapo transferred to prison in border city Ciudad Juarez for potential U.S. extradition

(NEW YORK DAILY NEWS) — Mexican drug czar Joaquin Guzman, who twice staged Hollywood-worthy jailbreaks, was moved Saturday from a central Mexican lockup to a prison in the northern border city of Ciudad Juarez.

The cartel kingpin, known by the infamous moniker “El Chapo,” was brought to the site across the border from El Paso, Tex., overnight, a security official told the Associated Press.

No reason for the transfer was provided.

Jose Refugio Rodriguez, an attorney for Guzman, confirmed that he was sent to the Cefereso No. 9 prison.

He said Guzman’s defense team was not notified beforehand, and one of his lawyers was traveling to Juarez to try to meet with their client.

“I don’t know what the strategy is,” Refugio told The Associated Press. “I can’t say what the government is thinking.”

[READ MORE]

Cartels help terrorists in Mexico get to U.S. to explore targets

(JUDICIAL WATCH) — Mexican drug traffickers help Islamic terrorists stationed in Mexico cross into the United States to explore targets for future attacks, according to information forwarded to Judicial Watch by a high-ranking Homeland Security official in a border state.

Among the jihadists that travel back and forth through the porous southern border is a Kuwaiti named Shaykh Mahmood Omar Khabir, an ISIS operative who lives in the Mexican state of Chihuahua not far from El Paso, Texas. Khabir trained hundreds of Al Qaeda fighters in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen and has lived in Mexico for more than a year, according to information provided by JW’s government source.

Now Khabir trains thousands of men—mostly Syrians and Yemenis—to fight in an ISIS base situated in the Mexico-U.S. border region near Ciudad Juárez, the intelligence gathered by JW’s source reveals. Staking out U.S. targets is not difficult and Khabir actually brags in an Italian newspaper article published last week that the border region is so open that he “could get in with a handful of men, and kill thousands of people in Texas or in Arizona in the space of a few hours.” Foreign Affairs Secretary Claudia Ruiz, Mexico’s top diplomat, says in the article that she doesn’t understand why the Obama administration and the U.S. media are “culpably neglecting this phenomenon,” adding that “this new wave of fundamentalism could have nasty surprises in store for the United States.”

This disturbing development appears on the Open Source Enterprise, the government database that collects and analyzes valuable material from worldwide print, broadcast and online media sources for the U.S. intelligence community. Only registered federal, state and local government employees can view information and analysis in the vast database and unauthorized access can lead to criminal charges. Updated data gathered on Khabir reveals he’s 52 years old and was ordered to leave Kuwait about a decade ago over his extremist positions. Khabir is currently on ISIS’s (also known as ISIL) payroll and operates a cell in an area of Mexico known as Anapra, according to the recently obtained information.

A year ago Judicial Watch reported on an ISIS camp in this exact area, just a few miles from El Paso. JW’s April 14, 2015 report identified Anapra as the location of the ISIS base, details that were provided to JW by sources that include a Mexican Army field grade officer and a Mexican Federal Police Inspector. Anapra is situated just west of Ciudad Juárez in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. At the time JW reported that another ISIS cell was established to the west of Ciudad Juárez, in Puerto Palomas to target the New Mexico towns of Columbus and Deming. Sources told JW that, during the course of a joint operation, Mexican Army and federal law enforcement officials discovered documents in Arabic and Urdu, as well as “plans” of Fort Bliss – the sprawling military installation that houses the US Army’s 1st Armored Division. Muslim prayer rugs were recovered with the documents during the operation.

[READ MORE]

About Drug Lord, the Life and Death of a Mexican Kingpin

Donald Trump wants to build a wall between the United States and Mexico, and he vows to do so if he becomes president of the United States. The wall, he believes, will stop the flow of drugs into the country as well as prevent the illegal entry of people across the border. Whether Trump is right or wrong about the need for a wall is a matter of fierce debate that will only grow in intensity as the election year progresses.

What cannot be disputed, however, is that there is a huge amount of drugs coming across the border, no different than in the past. There is also a greater influx of people coming now from all parts of the world than ever before. Who are these people? What is their motive for entering the United States?

Another matter than is beyond dispute is that smuggling activities related to drugs and people are controlled by organized crime groups, and to some extent organized crime is controlled by agencies of the government of Mexico. Read more »

Introduction by the author

This book came about because of the kidnapping of an American newspaper photographer by a Juarez drug trafficker, a brutal and unprecedented event that caused an international scandal and brought about the downfall of one of the major drug traffickers of the time.

Until the kidnapping, I didn’t have much interest in the subject of drugs. Drug trafficking was part of the background noise of the El Paso-Juarez region where I worked as a reporter. It was low keyed even in its violence; it did not draw too much attention to itself. My journalistic work, which had begun for the El Paso Herald-Post in 1984, focused primarily on reporting on a political movement in northern Mexico that was challenging the entrenched one-party system that had ruled Mexico since 1929. Juarez, the largest city in the state of Chihuahua, was the scene of what today would be called a “color” revolution — a democratic movement that used tactics of non-violent resistance to achieve its goals. Such a revolution was unfolding only ten blocks south of the newspaper, just on the other side of the Rio Grande. Read more »

What the DEA had to say about Pablo Acosta

The following are highlights from a DEA report entitled The Pablo Acosta Organization, a report based primarily on investigations carried out by U.S. Customs Service agents in the Presidio, Texas, area:

There has been a continuous increase in the trafficking of Mexican heroin, cocaine, and marijuana into the United States from Mexico over the last few years. Many fields of opium poppies were found and destroyed in Coahuila and Chihuahua in 1984. However, the production of opium is expected to rise in 1985. Mexican opium is converted directly into heroin in Mexico and is usually smuggled across the southern border.

There has also been a noticeable increase in the smuggling of cocaine through Mexico, with significant quantities of cocaine produced in South America crossing the southwest border, and although the largest worldwide marijuana seizure to date occurred in the state of Chihuahua in November 1984, it is believed that there are major quantities still available. The amount of marijuana seized along the U.S.-Mexico border has more than tripled in the last year. Recent seizures of very high-grade marijuana tops suggests the existence of very large stockpiles still in Mexico. Read more »