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El Chapo: Drug lord Joaquin Guzman extradited from Mexico to US

Notorious Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman has been extradited to the US, the Mexican government announced on Thursday.

He arrived in New York on a flight from Ciudad Juarez.

Mr Guzman, who could face life in a US prison, is wanted on charges of drug trafficking and smuggling vast amounts of drugs into the country.

The leader of the Sinaloa cartel was facing two extradition requests – one from California and another from Texas.

Last year he was moved to a prison in Ciudad Juarez, which lies just across the border from El Paso in Texas, but authorities at the time denied the transfer was a precursor to extradition.

Mr Guzman has been fighting to stay in Mexico but his appeals were rejected.

He was under close watch, having previously broken out of two Mexican high-security jails.

He is now expected to appear in a US federal court in Brooklyn on Friday.

A federal indictment in the Eastern District of New York, where Guzman is expected to be prosecuted, accuses him of overseeing a trafficking cartel with thousands of members and billions of dollars in profits laundered back to Mexico, the Associated Press news agency reports.

It says Guzman and other members of the Sinaloa cartel employed hit men who carried out murders, kidnappings and acts of torture.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto had initially resisted extraditing the cartel leader to the US, insisting that he should face justice at home.

But after Guzman was recaptured in January 2016, Pena Nieto changed his mind on extradition and ordered officials to speed up the process.

Guzman timeline

February 2014: Recapture after 13 years on the run following “laundry basket” escape from Puente Grande maximum-security prison

July 2015: Escape via tunnel from Altiplano prison

2 October 2015: Interviewed by US actor Sean Penn in Durango state jungle hideout, and then by phone and video

17 October: Mexican officials announce they almost caught him in neighbouring Sinaloa state

January 2016: Recaptured in Los Mochis, Sinaloa state

May 2016: Mexican judge clears extradition to US

October 2016: Mexican judge rejects appeal