Mexico has agreed to send Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman to the United States for prosecution.
Guzman is leader of the Sinaloa crime group. He faces numerous charges in the U.S., including drug trafficking, kidnapping and murder.
The Mexican government rejected U.S. requests earlier to turn over Guzman. It changed its position after he escaped a Mexican prison last July for the third time. Federal police captured him Friday after a gun battle.
The legal process to send Guzman to the United States could take months. Guzman's lawyers said they will oppose the extradition effort.
The prisoner could be sent to one of several U.S. cities for trial, including New York or Chicago.
Mexican officials want to question American actor Sean Penn in connection with the Guzman escape. Penn met with the crime group leader in October to gather information for a story for an American magazine, Rolling Stone.
The magazine’s web site posted the interview Saturday. Mexican officials also want to question Mexican actress Kate del Castillo. She reportedly set up the meeting between Penn and Guzman.
Mexican officials say information about that meeting helped them locate the Sinaloa group chief. Some Americans denounced the interview. Republican Party presidential candidate, Senator Marco Rubio, called it "grotesque."
Journalists also questioned Penn's agreement to permit Guzman the right to review the article before it was published.
In the interview, Guzman said, "I supply more heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana than anybody else in the world. I have a fleet of submarines, airplanes, trucks and boats." Penn described Guzman as "entirely unapologetic."
Guzman's escape was an embarrassment for President Enrique Pena Nieto. The government was praised for its aggressive push against Mexico's top drug traffickers, however.
The drug lord is now at the Altiplano Prison where he escaped in July. The Mexican Attorney General said Guzman's recapture came after a huge surveillance operation. That operation involved a film crew that had been working on a biography of the drug trafficker.
The gun battle Friday killed at least five suspects. One Mexican soldier was wounded. Six people were arrested at the scene. Guzman and another man escaped the raid. Police arrested them a short time later.
Guzman was first captured in 1993, but escaped in 2001 with the help of prison guards. He was not recaptured until 2014. U.S. intelligence information helped in that effort.
Mexico has ordered the arrest of more than 20 former officials, guards and police officers in connection with Guzman's escape last year. Ten civilians are already in detention.
I'm Jim Tedder.
Caty Weaver adapted this story for Learning English from VOA News reports. Kathleen Struck was the editor.
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Words in This Story
extradition - n. the act of sending (a person who has been accused of a crime) to another state or country for trial
interview - n. a meeting between a reporter and another person in order to get information for a news story
embarrassment - n. something or someone that causes a person or group to look or feel foolish
surveillance - n. the act of carefully watching someone or something especially in order to prevent or detect a crime
biography - n. the story of a real person's life written by someone other than that person