Mexico drug lord 'El Chapo' suffers setback in appeal to block extradition to the US

A police mugshot of drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman on Jan 8 in Mexico.
A police mugshot of drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman on Jan 8 in Mexico.PHOTO: AFP

MEXICO CITY (AFP) - Jailed Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman suffered a setback on Thursday (March 31) in his battle against efforts to extradite him to the United States, the authorities said.

A Mexico City court overturned Guzman's appeal seeking to block the government's request for an extradition warrant, judicial authorities said in a statement.

They cited procedural irregularities and a lack of evidence in the case brought by lawyers of Guzman, considered one of the world's most powerful drug bosses.

Guzman was captured in January after months on the run in a colorful episode involving a Mexican soap opera actress and US film star Sean Penn, who met with the drug boss in hiding.

Guzman had escaped through a hole in his jail cell's shower in July in a drama that embarrassed the government.

He faces two extradition demands by courts in California and Texas, for homicide and drug trafficking.

Mexican authorities have said the extradition process may take at least a year.