Caption:NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 28: Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto addresses the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters on September 28, 2015 in New York City. The ongoing war in Syria and the refugee crisis it has spawned are playing a backdrop to this years 70th annual General Assembly meeting of global leaders. (Photo : Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Contrary to their decision in 2014, Mexico is now willing to ship its infamous drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman to the United States for extradition.
The United States has suggested El Chapo's move to its lands before, but Mexico disagreed saying that it is "a matter of national sovereignty," as per a report by NBC News.
"Mexico is ready. There are plans to cooperate with the U.S.," said a federal law enforcement official, who gave a statement anonymously.
However, as per Fox News Latino, the same official noted that that there could be "a lengthy wait" before U.S. prosecutors can get a headstart on Guzman's case. "You have to go through the judicial process, and the defense has its elements too," he revealed.
It can be recalled that the Sinaloa Cartel drug lord has managed to escape from prison in 2001.
He, again, managed to get out of Mexico's maximum security prison through a tunnel and assisted by his associates who "intricately planned" an operation that mocked the government and its security efforts.
Guzmán is a farmer's son who grew up to be what the world knows today as the Sinaloan's most-wanted drug lord. He was arrested after a shootout between his gunmen and the Mexican marines in his seaside Los Mochis property where he moved last December. After he was captured by authorities, he was then brought back to Mexico City's airport and sent to the same prison he managed to flee from.
There are many federal courts in the United States who want to try El Chapo such as San Diego, Brooklyn, New York, El Paso, Miami and Chicago, according to NBC News. The aforementioned states has labelled him the first "public enemy No. 1" since Al Capone.
While there are swirling hearsays that Mexico is disposed to hand over El Chapo, Justice Department has been giving mixed signals on if they would actually ship him over. According to NBC News, a Mexican judge approved the request after Guzman escaped last July but the decision was otherwise reversed.
The final say will come from President Enrique Pena Nieto. Last Friday, he commended the Mexican law for the arrest of the infamous drug lord. "Our institutions have shown once again that the citizens can trust these institutions," he said in a statement.
A former drug prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney's office in Los Angeles, Jimmy Gurule, and currently a professor of international criminal law at the University of Notre Dame, foresees that Nieto will resist the pressure to have the U.S. extradite Guzman.
Gurule noted that it's not just a question of national sovereignty. Guzman is very much capable of divulging information about the corruption in Mexico given his history of bribing government officials.
"From a more cynical view, I think that Mexican government officials might be concerned that if El Chapo was extradited ... if there's any chance he'll see the light of day or that the conditions of his imprisonment be somewhat softened, that would require cooperation on his part," Gurule stated, as per NBC News. "I think there's no question he has very valuable first-hand information regarding government corruption, and if that information was disclosed it would be embarrassing to the Mexican government," he added.