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Drug lord Guzman's extradition to US appropriate, says Mexican judge

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A federal judge has ruled that extraditing Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman to the United States was appropriate, Mexico's federal judicial authority said on Monday.
The Federal Judicial Council (CJF) said that the Third District Court for Federal Criminal Processes in Mexico City gave a favorable opinion on the issue after agreeing that the legal requirements laid out in the extradition treaty between the two countries had been met.
Guzman has been wanted by the Southern District of California's federal court since 2001 on charges of criminal association for importing and possessing cocaine with the intention of distributing it in US territory, said the CJF.
The legal decision confirms that Mexico meets all the necessary legal formalities to be able to deliver the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel to the United States. However, the decision is not binding and does not mean that extradition will happen.
The final decision to extradite Guzman to Mexico's northern neighbor will come from the Latin American country's government through the Foreign Ministry which, until now, has not issued an official position on the matter.
In the meantime, the druglord can not be extradited because his defense has obtained, from another federal judge in Mexico City, a provisional suspension against handing Guzman over to the United States.
His team of lawyers also lodged an appeal with a federal collegiate tribunal in Mexico's capital against the court's decision which was in favor of extradition.
Guzman, who has escaped twice from maximum security prisons since 2001, was transferred to a federal prison in Ciudad Juarez in the northern state of Chihuahua on Saturday.
Guzman had to be moved to the northern prison because the Altiplano prison in the central State of Mexico, where he was previously staying, is currently undergoing maintenance to improve security, according to Mexico's government.
"El Chapo" had been kept in Altiplano prison since Jan 8 after being recaptured by marines in the city of Los Mochis in the northwestern state of Sinaloa. He was recaptured six months after he escaped from Altiplano through an underground tunnel in July 2015.
Before Mexican judges, the druglord faces a dozen trials for crimes related to drug trafficking and money laundering.
Guzman is also awaiting a decision from another federal judge regarding a second petition for his extradition to the United States lodged by a court in Texas.
This court wants "El Chapo" for offences such as organized crime, drug trafficking, money laundering, murder and possessing firearms.

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