Joaquin Archivaldo Guzman Loera, better known by his nickname of “El Chapo,” has been extradited to the United States to face criminal charges related to his leadership of the Sinaloa Cartel. He is charged in six separate indictments throughout the United States and will likely spend the rest of his life in an American prison.
In an official press release, the Justice Department extended “its gratitude to the Government of Mexico for their extensive cooperation and assistance in securing the extradition of Guzman Loera to the United States.”
The timing of the extradition, one day before the inauguration of America's 45th president, Donald Trump, has pundits and officials asking questions. Some view it as a gift to current President Obama and an affront to Trump, who has been extremely vocal in his dislike of Mexican immigrants. Others view it as the exacts opposite, and claim the extradition appears to be a peace offering to President Trump.
“This is Mexico’s inaugural present,” Robert Feitel, a Washington-based attorney who pursued traffickers and money launderers at the Department of Justice, told the Guardian. “Just like when Iran freed the hostages during President Reagan’s inauguration. It’s the same kind of political posturing.”
Bonnie Klapper, a former assistant U.S. attorney who prosecuted drug lords, told the British newspaper that, “It could well be Mexico’s attempt to curry favor. Mexico has been greatly destabilized by Trump’s statements.”
Whether that is true remains up for debate. Why would Mexico give a gift to President Trump while he is still president-elect? Regardless of the motives behind the extradition, the most notorious drug lord in recent history is now in U.S. custody. As was expected to happen this year. He will undoubtedly get life in a maximum security prison.
While he sits in a cell, the war on drugs continues. Where there is a demand, there will be a supply. It’s business 101.
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