The United States has asked Mexico to extradite a powerful son of jailed druglord Joaquin Guzman, better known as El Chapo, who is accused of drugs crimes, a Mexican government spokesperson has said.
Ovidio Guzman, captured in January, has allegedly helped to run the infamous Sinaloa cartel since his father was handed over to authorities in the US in 2017.
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The US embassy in Mexico City presented the extradition request to the foreign ministry and attorney general’s office, the spokesperson told the AFP news agency. He did not want to be named because he was not authorised to speak on the issue.
Two unnamed Mexican government sources also confirmed the extradition request for 32-year-old Ovidio Guzman to the Reuters news agency.
The younger Guzman was captured near the city of Culiacan, in northern Sinaloa state, triggering a wave of violence that left dozens of people dead.
El Chapo, who based his smuggling empire out of Sinaloa, is serving a life sentence in the US for drug trafficking over a period of 25 years.
Ovidio Guzman secured a court order in January blocking his immediate extradition to the US, and a judge gave the US until March 5 to present an extradition request.
He is accused of helping to oversee nearly a dozen methamphetamine labs in Sinaloa as well as conspiring to distribute cocaine and marijuana, according to US authorities.
He also allegedly ordered the murders of informants, a drug trafficker and a Mexican singer who refused to perform at his wedding.
He was captured briefly once before in 2019, but security forces freed him after his cartel waged an all-out war in response.