The Mexican Foreign Ministry has approved extradition to the U.S. for Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán in a move that could bring the drug lord closer to facing charges in the U.S., a Department of Justice spokesperson confirmed.
Guzmán, who heads Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel, has been indicted for murder, drug and arms trafficking and money laundering on charges from federal prosecutors in six U.S. states.
Guzmán’s legal team now has 30 days to file an appeal. The process of appeal could delay extradition by months or years, according to Miguel Marino, the head of Mexico’s extradition office. His lawyers have not ruled out taking the case to the Mexican Supreme Court.
He was recaptured in January after a high-profile escape in July 2015 from Mexico’s Altiplano prison. He escaped the prison through a hole in his cell that led to a nearly mile-long tunnel.
Earlier this month, he was moved from a maximum-security prison near Mexico City to Cefereso No. 9 prison in Ciudad Juarez, which lies along the U.S.-Mexico border near El Paso, Texas.