UK & World News
Fears Mexican Drug Kingpin Could Escape Again
Captured drug lord Joaquin Guzman should be extradited by Mexico to the US to make sure he does not escape, a top American politician has said.
Known as "El Chapo" or Shorty, 5ft 6in Guzman was seized by Mexican marines with the help of US agents in a condo in the resort city of Mazatlan.
His arrest was a significant victory for Mexico and the US in the war on drugs, according to the chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security.
Michael McCaul said he was encouraging Mexican authorities to send the 56-year-old to America where he faces at least seven indictments.
Later, the US attorney's office said American officials would seek his extradition.
The US had offered a $5m reward for information leading to Guzman's capture, with "multiple indictments in multiple cities" from New York to San Diego.
He has also been branded "Public Enemy Number One" in Chicago.
Republican Representative Mr McCaul told ABC News it was up to Mexico to decide where the suspect is prosecuted.
But he noted Guzman escaped from prison in 2001 - by hiding in a laundry basket - eluding authorities for 13 years, and corruption continues to plague the country.
Mr McCaul said Guzman would end up "in a super-max prison" in the US from which he could not escape.
Asked if he would like to see him hauled before US courts the politician said: "I would. I think the normal sequence is Mexico, being a sovereign nation, has the first prosecution.
"However, there's a history here. He escaped from a prison in 2001. There is corruption in that country."
"I would ask that the Mexicans consider extraditing him to the United States, where he will be put in a super-max prison under tight security where he cannot escape, and be brought to justice with a life imprisonment sentence.
"I think that would be the best course for not only Mexico, but also the United States, in ensuring that what happened in 2001 does not happen again."
Guzman, who arrived at the Mexico City airport after his arrest and was being taken directly to prison, was the most wanted drug baron on the planet.
He runs Mexico's infamous Sinaloa Cartel and his fortune has grown to more than $1bn, according to Forbes magazine.
It listed him among the "World's Most Powerful People" and ranked him above the presidents of France and Venezuela.
Guzman was found with an unidentified woman and no shot were fired during his capture.
His cartel has smuggled billions of dollars worth of cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamines into the US, and fought vicious turf wars with other Mexican gangs.
He pioneered the use of sophisticated underground tunnels to smuggle drug shipments across the border and also became a major narcotics exporter to Europe and Asia.
Nearly 80,000 people have been killed in the last seven years with much of the violence in western and northern regions that have long been key smuggling routes.
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