Mexico has started the process of extradition to the United States of drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.
According to the Mexican authorities, Interpol officers served El Chapo Guzman’s papers at the Altiplano jail, near Mexico City.
El Chapo Guzman, 58, escaped from the maximum security jail in July and was recaptured on January 8.
Mexico is also considering whether to investigate Sean Penn, who interviewed El Chapo Guzman soon after his jail break.
Unnamed Mexican officials have said Sean Penn’s secret meeting helped lead them to the fugitive.
In the Rolling Stone magazine’s article, where Sean Penn’s 7-hour interview with El Chapo Guzman was published, the actor and the fugitive discuss various topics, including drug trafficking.
In a statement, Mexico’s attorney general’s office said Interpol Mexico agents went to El Chapo Guzman’s prison to execute two arrest warrants.
The US filed extradition requests so he could face charges of smuggling vast amounts of drugs into the country.
El Chapo Guzman, who was named Public Enemy Number One by the Chicago Crime Commission in 2013, has been indicted by at least seven US federal district courts.
Mexico and the US have an extradition treaty – but the process can take months.
El Chapo Guzman’s lawyers can raise motions to try and block any extradition and the process has to go through the judicial system.
Many people believe he should face justice in Mexico first. But the case goes beyond sovereignty and national pride.
Joaquin Guzman, who was one of the world’s most wanted drug traffickers, escaped from jail through a tunnel dug in the showers.
That was his second escape – he was first arrested in Guatemala in 1993 and escaped from Puente Grande jail in 2001, reportedly in a laundry basket after bribing officials.
El Chapo Guzman was on the run for 13 years before being held again in 2014. Previous extradition requests from the US have been turned down.