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'El Chapo' threatens to sue Netflix

May 27, 2016

Nexflix and Univision have announced a new series based on the notorious leader of the Sinaloa cartel. But his lawyers said he would sue if the producers didn't receive permission - adding they're open to negotiations.

A man with sign that read: "Chapo for president"
Image: picture-alliance/AP Photo/R. Blackwell

Lawyers representing Joaquin Guzman, commonly known as "El Chapo," on Thursday threatened to sue online streaming site Netflix and Spanish-language broadcaster Univision if they air a planned series based on the Mexican drug lord's life.

"Mr. Guzman isn't dead. He isn't a personality in the public domain. He's alive. He has to grant them the rights (to his story). We could sue them because they don't have authorization for a series or a movie," Mexican lawyer Andres Granados told Mexican radio network Formula.

"He has told us that if they already have this project, we can negotiate with them, so it doesn't go to waste and we don't wear ourselves out with a lawsuit. But as of today, they have not approached us," the drug lord's lawyer added.

Show set for release next year

The comments come after Netflix and Univision announced earlier this month that they will co-produce a "boundary-breaking drama series" based on El Chapo's life. The show will be released exclusively on Netflix in 2017, according to the statement.

Mexican authorities arrested the leader of the notorious Sinaloa cartel in January after he escaped from a high-security prison in July, marking the second time he fled a detention facility in the country.

His recapture was largely blamed on a meeting between El Chapo, Mexican actress Kate del Castillo and US actor Sean Penn, which led police to the drug lord's residence.

Meanwhile, the Mexican government approved his extradition to the US last week , where he is wanted by federal prosecutors in several cities, including Miami and New York, for drug trafficking, homicide and money laundering.

ls/gsw (AFP, AP, dpa)