Mexico's government has notified recaptured drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman that he is wanted in the United States, formally beginning extradition proceedings against him.

The Attorney General's Office said on Sunday in a statement that Guzman was told two arrest warrants from the US were being processed.

The notification was completed by agents of the international police agency Interpol at the maximum-security prison where Guzman is being held.

The extradition bid marks a reversal from President Enrique Pena Nieto's refusal to send Guzman across the border before his July escape from a maximum-security prison.

Mexico says Sean Penn interview helped to catch El Chapo

Mexico received the US extradition requests last year on a large number of charges, including drug trafficking and homicide. Guzman is wanted in six US states.

After judges rule on the extradition, the Mexican foreign ministry has to issue a decision. The timing of the extradition is unclear as Guzman can appeal against it.

Guzman's lawyer Juan Pablo Badillo said the defence had already filed six motions to challenge extradition requests and that he would continue the challenge all the way to the Supreme Court.

Guzman was recaptured on Friday, six months after breaking out of a Mexican prison.

A Mexican law-enforcement official said on Saturday that a secret interview given by Guzman to the American actor Sean Penn had helped authorities locate his whereabouts .

The interview between Guzman and Penn, purportedly held in late 2015 in a hideout in Mexico, appeared on Saturday on the website of Rolling Stone magazine.

An anonymous Mexican official said it was the Penn interview that led authorities to Guzman in a rural part of Durango state in October.

Authorities aborted an earlier raid because Guzman was with two women and a child. But they were able to track him to Los Mochis, Sinaloa, where he was captured on Friday.


OPINION: El Chapo proves Mexico is failing


He was arrested after a shoot-out six months after he had escaped from Mexico's most secure prison.

Five people were killed during the operation that caught Guzman.

Guzman was first captured in 1993 in Guatemala, but he escaped from a prison in western Mexico in 2001 by hiding in a laundry cart.

In July 2015, he fled a maximum-security prison near Mexico City just 17 months after authorities had captured him following a 13-year manhunt.

He escaped through a 1.5km tunnel with a redesigned motorcycle on special tracks, emerging in a house outside the prison.

Source: Agencies