Mexico says it wants to rid itself of 'El Chapo' Guzmán by the start of 2017

Recaptured drug lord Joaquin

Mexico wants to send Sinaloa cartel kingpin Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán to the US in the first two months of next year, the country's national security commissioner said on Friday. "We hope (to do it) in January or February," Renato Sales Heredia told Mexican television channel Televisa after being asked when the drug lord could be extradited. Guzmán is currently in jail near Ciudad Juarez in northern Mexico, awaiting a ruling from a judge in Mexico City on the Sinaloa cartel chief's appeals to the extradition requests approved by the Mexican government in May.

As a technical matter, the Mexican executive [branch] is not at all dependent on the Mexican judicial system to approve of extradition.

Peter Vincent, a former legal adviser at the US Department of Homeland Security

The extradition process against Guzmán has proceeded slowly since his recapture in January this year, when Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto said his government planned to send the kingpin north. Experts have estimated that could take several years — possibly up to six — for Guzmán to be extradited to a US court, and other major kingpins captured in Mexico have sweated out multiyear extradition battles before eventually landing in the US.

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Joaquín Guzmán

Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera(; Sinaloa, 25 December 1954 or 4 April 1957) is a Mexican drug lord who heads the Sinaloa Cartel, a criminal organization named after the Mexican Pacific coast state of Sinaloa where it was formed. Known as"El Chapo Guzmán" for his 168 cm stature, he became Mexico's top drug kingpin in 2003 after the arrest of his rival Osiel Cárdenas of the Gulf Cartel, and is considered the"most powerful drug trafficker in the world" by the United States Department of the Treasury.Each year from 2009 to 2011 Forbes magazine ranked Guzmán as one of the most powerful people in the world, ranking 41st, 60th, and 55th respectively.