The United States must exercise stronger diplomatic muscle and push Mexico to extradite drug kingpins like Sinaloa cartel boss Joaquin El Chapo Guzman, according to a statement released Sunday by U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela, D-Brownsville.
Guzman escaped from the high-security Altiplano prison near Mexico City on Saturday night, apparently through a mile-long tunnel.
Vela responded to the news with a Facebook post.
“Extradition is an important weapon in the US-Mexico effort against the drug cartels, according to the statement. Our inability to get Mexico to extradite Chapo Guzman, and indicted Tamaulipas Governors Tomas Yarrington and Eugenio Hernandez Flores is an insult to the law enforcement and prosecutorial personnel who have worked for years to build criminal cases against these drug profiteers.
The United States needs to exercise stronger diplomatic muscle, ensure the recapture of Chapo Guzman and see to it that these three individuals be brought to the United States at once to face the charges that have been levied against them, according to the statement.
When investigators captured Guzman during February 2014, the United States urged Mexico to extradite him.
United States prosecutors were concerned that Guzman ” who escaped from a high-security prison in Jalisco state during January 2001 ” would slip away again.
During an interview with an Associated Press reporter, Mexican Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam scoffed at the notion.
“I could accept extradition, but at the time that I choose. ‘El Chapo’ must stay here to complete his sentence, and then I will extradite him,” Murillo Karam said, according tothe Associated Press. “So about 300 or 400 years later ” it will be a while.”
Guzman escaped less than six months later.