By Glynn Cosker
Managing Editor, In Homeland Security
In Homeland Security’s contributing editor, Sylvia Longmire, was interviewed on CNN Saturday about the recapture of fugitive Mexican drug lord Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán in Mexico and his possible extradition to the United States to face criminal charges.
Longmire, speaking to CNN’s Fredricka Whitfield, stated that the extradition of ‘El Chapo’ would be a “symbolic victory.”
“The Sinaloa Federation is going to continue operations as normal, but the fact that they are making such a decision to send him to the United States, makes sure that he stays in jail, and I think that’s a good move,” said Longmire.
“This is a real make-or-break moment for Enrique Peña Nieto’s presidential administration,” continued Longmire. “I’m very glad to hear that the extradition is likely.”
Mexican authorities recaptured Guzmán on Jan. 8, in the coastal city of Los Mochis in Sinaloa state. Guzmán has led the Sinaloa cartel for decades and has escaped from maximum security Mexican jails twice — most recently in July 2015. Defying logic, Guzmán was taken to the same prison from which he escaped last summer. Therefore, the importance of getting Guzmán to the U.S. was underscored by Longmire.
“First of all, [we] can get a lot of really good intelligence information [from Guzmán],” stated Longmire. “One of the reasons that analysts took a look at Mexico’s refusal to extradite him when they caught him the second time back in February of 2014, was that they [the Mexican government] were upset that we had not shared any intelligence information with them before on individuals that had been extradited to the United States. Hopefully, that will change, but it’s significant because we can actually keep him in prison — send him to a ‘super-max’ facility — where we’re currently holding many other kingpins and drug-trafficking VIPs.”
‘El Chapo’ — who was the world’s most-wanted drug kingpin — has a net worth estimated to be more than $4 billion, and the dispersal of that massive criminal hoard is also a major question for officials.
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