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Mon Feb 24, 2014 5:37AM
Infamous Mexican drug lord Joaquin Guzman (C) is escorted by soldiers at the Navy’s airstrip in Mexico City, February 22, 2014.

Infamous Mexican drug lord Joaquin Guzman (C) is escorted by soldiers at the Navy’s airstrip in Mexico City, February 22, 2014.

Authorities in the United States have called for the extradition of recently arrested drug cartel kingpin Joaquin Guzman from Mexico.

At least seven American federal district courts, including those of Chicago, New York and Texas, have issued indictments on a range of charges for Guzman, also known as El Chapo or Shorty, following his recent arrest in Mexico.

However, Guzman will likely stand trial in Mexico first on a number of charges linked to his role as the head of the country’s most powerful drug cartel, Sinaloa.

The cartel has been a key player in the drug-related violence in Mexico, which has killed more than 77,000 people during the past seven years.

The Sinaloa gang has been engaged in a bloody turf war with the Juarez drug cartel for the control of lucrative smuggling routes along the US border.

The gang has also smuggled billions of dollars worth of drugs into the United States, Europe and Asia.

According to the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Sinaloa cartel annually supplies 80 percent of the heroin, cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine that enter the Chicago area at a value of USD 3 billion.

In 1993, American authorities put Guzman on a wanted list on charges of smuggling six tons of cocaine inside a shipment of canned goods through the border city of Tecate in the Mexican state of Baja California.

In the same year, Guzman was arrested in Guatemala and imprisoned in Mexico. However, in 2001, he staged a dramatic escape hiding inside a laundry cart. He was on a 13-year run until his capture on February 22.

CAH/HJL/HRB

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