'World Is Watching' How Mexico Holds El Chapo: US

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'World Is Watching' How Mexico Holds El Chapo: US

Mexican authorities said that it could take a year of more to go through the process of examining a US request that Guzman be extradited for trial in the United States. (Reuters)

Washington, United States:  The United States said Monday it had made it clear to Mexico that notorious drug baron Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman must not be allowed to escape again pending extradition proceedings.

"Certainly we've made our concerns known to Mexican authorities about the danger posed by this particular individual," State Department spokesman John Kirby said.

"And I think it's safe to assume that they understand that the world is watching how this case moves forward and that this individual needs to stay behind bars," he added.

Mexican authorities said Monday that it could take a year of more to go through the process of examining a US request that Guzman be extradited for trial in the United States.

In the meantime, they have beefed up security at the Altiplano prison west of the capital, a facility from which the kingpin had escaped in July 2014 -- in what was his second jailbreak.

He was recaptured on Friday after Mexican marines fought a deadly gun battle with men of Guzman's multi-billion-dollar Sinaloa cartel, which ships drugs from Latin America to the US market.

Already convicted of multiple Mexican offenses linked to his running of the gang, Guzman faces murder, drug trafficking, kidnapping and money laundering charges in the United States.

Some in Washington have expressed concern that Guzman may make a third escape if he is left in the care of a Mexican prison system that has been found wanting twice before.

"Certainly, given what happened with him, I think it's safe to assume that Mexican authorities know what they need to do to make sure that he stays behind bars," Kirby said.

"I'm not an expert on Mexican prisons but again I think it's safe to assume they understand what this gentleman is capable of and would do what they need to do to keep him behind bars."

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