Mexico says it wants to hand "El Chapo" over to US by early next year

Mexico wants to deliver drug cartel boss Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman to the United States by January or February, Mexican National Security Commissioner Renato Sales Heredia told broadcaster Televisa on Friday.

US charges against "El Chapo" - Mexican slang for Shorty - include murder, drug trafficking, and money laundering. The Mexican Foreign Ministry approved his extradition in May.

The leader of the powerful Sinaloa cartel is behind bars at a high-security prison in Ciudad Juarez, near the US border.

Guzman was recaptured in January after escaping last year from prison via a series of tunnels. He had previously been a fugitive following an earlier prison break more than a decade ago.

Known as the world's most powerful drug trafficker, Guzman is pursuing a two-track strategy for his defence.

While his attorneys attempt to block extradition, they are also exploring possible cooperation with US prosecutors - a prospect that is believed to be unnerving to some circles among traffickers, government officials and politicians.

Last update: Sat, 15/10/2016 - 07:01

More from World

US astronaut John Glenn - "ultimate hometown hero" - dies at age 95

Former astronaut and US senator John Glenn, who shot to fame in 1962 as the first American to orbit the Earth, died...

Gambian president-elect says he will reverse decision to leave ICC

Gambia will reverse its decision to leave the International Criminal Court, president-elect Adama Barrow announced...

Tsunami threat declared over for Solomon Islands after massive quake

The tsunami threat from Friday's magnitude-7.8 earthquake near the Solomon Islands has passed, says the Pacific...

Saudi Arabia "playing proxy wars," Boris Johnson says in latest gaffe

British ally Saudi Arabia is "puppeteering and playing proxy wars" in the Middle East and, like Iran, is "twisting...

Russia: Syrian military suspends Aleppo attacks to allow evacuation

The Syrian military has suspended its attacks on militant-held eastern Aleppo to let civilians be evacuated to...