Mexican court blocks drug lord's extradition to U.S.

MEXICO-DRUG WAR: Head of Beltrán Leyva drug cartel was granted an injunction in his appeal against extradition due to technicalities involving a failure to follow due process
Pictures of Héctor Beltrán leyva displayed during a news conference at the Attorney General's Office (PGR) in Mexico City on October 1, 2014 - Photo: PGR via REUTERS
13/04/2017
12:28
Mexico
-A +A

A Mexican court has blocked efforts by the Foreign Ministry to extradite jailed drug lord Hector Beltrán Leyva to the United States, judicial authorities said on Wednesday, just a few months after top kingpin Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán was sent north.

The Mexico City court granted Beltrán Leyva, one of Mexico's most-wanted drug lords until his capture in 2014, an injunction in his appeal against extradition due to technicalities involving a failure to follow due process.

In a statement, Mexico's federal judicial authorities said the case would return to the original judge, who would begin the process afresh. Beltrán Leyva remains locked up in the same high-security prison just outside Mexico City that Guzmán escaped from through a mile-long tunnel in 2015.

The Beltrán Leyva gang, which was linked to Guzmán's Sinaloa Cartel until 2008, was one of Mexico's biggest drug smuggling organizations. But many of its key members are now either dead, behind bars in Mexico or serving time in the United States.

In January, just before U.S. President Donald Trump took office, Guzmán was extradited to New York, in a deft move that served to please outgoing leader Barack Obama and his successor.

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