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Gómez: a year before El Chapo goes north. Gómez: a year before El Chapo goes north.

El Chapo extradition could take a year

Amparos could slow the process even though it has been fast-tracked

The extradition of drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán to the United States could take up to a year, Attorney General Arely Gómez said in an interview yesterday, when she also gave an update on the cases of federal Deputy Lucero Sánchez and actress Kate del Castillo, both of whom have been linked to Guzmán.

Gómez said her office is fast-tracking the extradition process on instructions from President Enrique Peña Nieto, and should be completed within a year, although the trial could face further delays as Guzmán’s lawyers file more amparo requests.

The Attorney General explained that the day after the Sinaloa Cartel boss was returned to the El Altiplano penitentiary, her office received notification of several amparo requests filed by his lawyers.

Despite that, Gómez said that the extradition process won’t stop unless otherwise ordered by the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs (SRE).

Kate del Castillo, meanwhile, remains a key witness as her relationship with the drug lord needs to be clarified, as well as any financial arrangements between them, the Attorney General said.

Gómez’ office has issued an order that she be found and summoned for questioning after she was invited to do so last month but didn’t appear. The actress lives in Los Angeles, California.

A series of text messages between her and Guzmán and his lawyer revealed a strong interest on Guzman’s part for the actress herself, and evidence that he might have been considering a business investment with her, which could be construed as money laundering.

Regarding Sinaloa state Deputy Lucero Sánchez, Gómez stated that by Monday an impeachment request will be presented to the state Congress in order to begin the process against her.

Gómez explained that Sánchez had been under investigation for six months, and that the process is just beginning because “waiting was convenient for us as we were able to gather more [accusatory] elements, otherwise we would have lost information regarding the relationship [between Sánchez and Guzmán]”.

The Attorney General believes it will be difficult for Sánchez to deny her liaison with Guzmán, as there is videotaped documentation of their encounters.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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