Mexican drug lord 'El Chapo' extradited to US

  • 20/01/2017
Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is escorted by soldiers during a presentation in Mexico City
Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman being escorted by soliders (Reuters/File)

Notorious Mexican drug lord 'El Chapo' has been extradited from Mexico to the United States.

Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman is wanted in the US on drug trafficking and organised crime charges.

He is the leader of the Sinaloa cartel, and is believed to have smuggled vast amounts of drugs into the US.

"The government... today handed Mr Guzman Loera to the US authorities," the foreign ministry said in a statement, referring to a court decision on Thursday rejecting a legal challenge by his lawyers against extradition.

A senior US official said El Chapo is already in US custody and is being flown to New York, AP reports.

"It's a good thing to finally get him to the US side," said a senior US law enforcement official based in Mexico.

He said he did not think Mexico put "a whole lot of thought" into the timing of the extradition, that comes the day before Trump's inauguration, "but it certainly isn't a bad thing".

He was facing two extradition requests, one from California and another from Texas, where he could face the death penalty.

Guzman was one of the world's most-wanted drug kingpins until he was captured in January 2016. Six months earlier, he had broken out of a high-security penitentiary in central Mexico through a 1.6km-long tunnel.

Reuters / Newshub.