Jan 6, 2023 - World

Judge halts extradition of El Chapo's son to U.S.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, President of Mexico, during a morning press conference in Mexico City, following the recapture of Ovidio Guzman, son of Joaquin ''El Chapo'' Guzman, on Jan. 5. Photo: Gerardo Vieyra/NurPhoto via Getty Images

A federal judge in Mexico City halted the extradition Friday of Ovidio Guzmán, a son of imprisoned drug lord Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán, to the U.S, per CNN.

Driving the news: The order comes a day after the younger Guzmán was arrested in Culiacán, Mexico, in an operation that led to deadly clashes resulting in at least 29 deaths.

Details: Mexico’s Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said Guzmán's possible extradition wouldn't be immediate due to the formalities of the law, despite a 2019 arrest warrant in the U.S. for him, CNN reports.

  • The foreign minister added that Guzmán also has ongoing legal proceedings in Mexico.
  • The judge Friday also suspended a measure that prevented Guzmán from speaking to his legal team and his relatives, according to CNN.

Context: Guzmán, 32, was described by the U.S. State Department last month as a "high-ranking member" of the Sinaloa Cartel that his father previously led, per Reuters.

  • The U.S. State Department had offered a $5 million reward for information leading to his arrest and/or conviction.
  • Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador had ordered the younger Guzmán to be released after the 2019 arrest "to avoid further bloodshed."

Meanwhile, "El Chapo" is serving a life sentence at a supermax U.S. federal prison in Colorado after a jury convicted him in 2019 of 10 counts, including continuing criminal enterprise and drug trafficking offenses.

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