(Art: Jesus Abraham Aviles Ortiz/Infobae)
Ovidio Guzmán López, a member of the faction of the Sinaloa Cartel, known as Los Chapitos, denied before a federal judge that he is the person that the United States Government seeks to judge.
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Also known as El Ratón, Ovidio Guzmán had a hearing before a judge on Tuesday, March 7, to be notified of the extradition request that the US government presented to Mexico.
The appearance, which lasted almost five hours, was held via videoconference from the Federal Criminal Justice Center based in the municipality of Almoloya de Juárez, in the State of Mexico.
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According to the Milenio newspaper, Ovidio Guzmán’s defense assured that his client is not the same person who is requested by the US. “I am not the person they believe, that the United States is claiming today,” El Raton said, according to the outlet.
A view shows the parking lot of a house with vehicles hit by gunfire following the detention of Mexican drug gang leader Ovidio Guzman, the 32-year-old son of jailed kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, in Jesus Maria, Mexico January 7, 2023. REUTERS/Stringer
Ovidio was captured in a strong operation by elements of the National Guard and the Mexican Army carried out on January 5 in the town of Jesús María, in Culiacán, Sinaloa. During his arrest, the son of El Chapo Guzmán was seized firearms for the exclusive use of the Armed Forces.
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The Secretary of National Defense (Sedena) confirmed that during the operation to recapture Ovidio Guzmán, ten soldiers died and 35 people were injured. Meanwhile, 19 members of the Sinaloa Cartel would have died in the violent operation.
File photo. Soldiers guard the entrance of a house after the arrest of Mexican drug gang leader Ovidio Guzman, son of jailed drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, in Jesus Maria, Mexico, January 7, 2023. REUTERS/Stringer
On February 27, it was announced by the Mexican authorities that the US government requested through a diplomatic letter the formal extradition of Guzmán López for crimes related to cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine trafficking.
The letter was sent to the Attorney General of the Republic (FGR) to formalize the petition, a unit that sent the request to the federal judge of the State of Mexico, which scheduled the hearing that was held this Tuesday.
In said hearing, the FGR explained that the US Government indicated that there are formal accusations against El Raton by the Northern District Court of Illinois and others by the Southern District Court of New York. In the first state, Ovidio is charged with the transfer of cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana.
According to Milenio, during the virtual hearing, Ovidio Guzmán was notified that there are witness statements against him such as that of Dámaso López Núñez, alias El Licenciado, and that of his son, El Mini Lic.
In the case of the New York Court, the son of El Chapo is pointed out as the main leader of fentanyl trafficking to North America, in addition to 3 other witnesses to his crimes. Milenio explained that, in total, there are 11 accusations in which he is accused of criminal association and possession of narcotics.
The federal judge said that El Ratón will remain in the Federal Center for Social Readaptation #1, better known as El Altiplano, until his defense presents the evidence over the next three days. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will have until March 30 to discard them and continue with the extradition process.
Five days before the request for the extradition to the US of Ovidio Guzmán was announced, a federal judge ordered the arrest of El Chapo’s son, this for crimes committed in Mexican territory.
Said arrest warrant was issued by a control judge of the Federal Criminal Justice Center in the state of Sonora. The information was released by Everardo Maya Arias, Third District Judge in Matters of Amparo for Federal Trials in the State of Mexico, who had previously granted the suspension of the same arrest warrant.
However, the crimes or charges for which the arrest warrant was issued in Mexico were not mentioned. El Raton was arrested for an arrest warrant for the purpose of extradition to the United States, for which reason the request issued by the Sonora control judge seeks the imputation of crimes committed in Mexican territory.
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