Mexican judge grants Ovidio Guzman indefinite stay of extradition to the U.S.

Arrest of drug kingpin Ovidio Guzmán López, ‘El Ratón’, son of historic drug trafficker ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán – LUIS BARRON / ZUMA PRESS / CONTACTOPHOTO

A Mexican judge has finally granted a sine die stay of extradition to the United States for Ovidio Guzmán López, alias ‘El Ratón’ and son of the notorious Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán, following his arrest in early January in Culiacán by Mexican security forces.

Alfonso Alexandre López Moreno, the fifth district judge in Amparo and Federal Trial Matters in the state of Mexico, has clarified that this measure does not imply that Guzmán’s extradition process to the United States will be halted, as reported by the newspaper ‘Milenio’.

Thus, ‘El Ratón’, leader of a faction of the Sinaloa Cartel known as Los Chapitos, one of the aliases by which the son of ‘El Chapo’ is known, will have to remain at the disposal of Mexican judicial authorities by virtue of this decision.

The justice system already granted Guzmán a provisional suspension of his extradition to the United States on January 18 after the process was postponed a week earlier. The decision came after ‘El Chapo’ asked the authorities to be transferred from the United States to a prison in Mexican territory, a request that Mexico City promised to «analyze».

The Mexican government confirmed the death of 29 people, including ten military personnel, during the violent operation to arrest Ovidio Guzmán, who was arrested by security forces in Culiacán (in the northwest of the state), in an operation that degenerated into a pitched battle throughout the city.