Mexico formally launches ′El Chapo′ extradition process | News | DW | 11.01.2016
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Mexico formally launches 'El Chapo' extradition process

Interpol Mexico agents have executed two arrest warrants, formally launching extradition procedures. The move comes amid criticism over US actor Sean Penn's interview of the notorious drug lord.

Mexican authorities on Sunday formally launched the process to extradite drug trafficking kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman to the US after he was rearrested on Friday.

Agents of Interpol Mexico executed two arrest warrants for "El Chapo" at the prison in which he is being held near the capital, Mexico City, the attorney general's office said in a statement.

"With this action, the judicial authority is notified of the execution of those arrest warrants for extradition, which formally initiate the procedure," the statement said.

Guzman's lawyer has vowed to fight the extradition bid, saying he would take it to Mexico's Supreme Court if he needed to.

"It must be noted that the defendant has the possibility of seeking an injunction against the decisions issued by the foreign ministry," the statement added.

The move marks a reversal from Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto's refusal to extradite the drug lord prior to his prison break in July.

'El Chapo' interview slammed

US magazine "Rolling Stone" on Saturday published the article "El Chapo Speaks," written by US actor Sean Penn, who had interviewed Guzman. The interview shed light on the drug lord's beginnings and other facets of his enigmatic life.

However, "Rolling Stone" and Penn were criticized for providing Guzman with the ability to approve which content would be published.

"An understanding was brokered with the subject that this piece would be submitted for the subject's approval before publication. This subject did not ask for any changes," the publisher wrote in a disclosure.

The move by the American magazine, known as a hallmark of rock music coverage as well as edgy journalism, is considered highly irregular within the field.

"Allowing any source control over a story's content is inexcusable. The practice of pre-approval discredits the entire story - whether the subject requests changes or not," wrote Andrew Seaman, chairman of the ethics committee of the Society of Professional Journalists, on the organization's website.

Marty Baron, executive editor of "The Washington Post," posted a link to an investigative story on how drug traffickers bully journalists into censorship.

"Good moment to remember what happens to real journalists who cover Mexican drug traffickers," Baron wrote in a tweet.

ls/bw (AFP, Reuters, EFE, dpa)