“Ivan” for Borderland Beat 

The son of ‘Chapo’ Guzmán is desperately trying to avoid facing gringo justice.

Ovidio Guzmán López, El Ratón, is seeking to avoid extradition to the United States and the execution of a possible arrest warrant.

After his capture last January 5 in the Jesús María syndicate, north of Culiacán, the lawyers of Joaquín el Chapo Guzmán’s son have filed several amparos in Mexico City and the State of Mexico to prevent him from being handed over to U.S. authorities.

Since September 25, 2019, the General Director of International Procedures of the Attorney General’s Office (FGR) sent to the Federal Control Judge with residence in Almoloya de Juárez, the arrest warrant for international extradition purposes presented by the Government of the United States of America.

Ovidio was arrested on January 5 and the following day the extradition hearing was held, in which he was formally detained on a provisional basis.

The U.S. government has 60 days from the date of arrest to make a formal extradition request to the Mexican government.

The judges to whom he has requested the protection of justice have granted him two definitive suspensions, so he cannot be extradited until the amparo proceedings are resolved.

Resorting to amparos to avoid extradition is common for criminals who are arrested for extradition purposes or who are presumed to have an extradition order.

His father, Chapo Guzmán, also filed amparos following his 2016 arrest in Los Mochis and obtained suspension 

As soon as the courts refused to grant the amparos, in January 2017 the Mexican government extradited him.

On that occasion, Chapo’s lawyer, José Refugio Rodríguez, accused that the extradition derived from an action that violated human rights.

Orson Iván Gastélum, Cholo Iván, was arrested along with El Chapo, and is also wanted by the U.S. government.

Since December 2020, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs granted the extradition but has not been able to carry it out due to amparo proceedings.

Ovidio Guzmán has obtained two suspensions of the extradition.

On January 5, the day he was detained, his lawyers filed an injunction against the detention, incommunicado detention, extradition and torture in the Sixth District Court for Criminal Matters (Juzgado Sexto de Distrito de Amparo en Materia Penal) in Mexico City.

The judge declined to hear the lawsuit due to the fact that the extradition process is being carried out in the State of Mexico, therefore a court in that state is competent to resolve the case.

The request for amparo was turned to the Fifth District Court for Amparo and Federal Trials in the State of Mexico and a provisional suspension was granted.

“Said precautionary measure is granted, to the effect that the direct complainant is not extradited and remains at the disposal of this amparo jurisdictional body, in what corresponds to his personal liberty, in the place where he is being held and at the disposal of the responsible judge, without prejudice to the continuation of the extradition proceeding that is being instructed,” the judge determined.

On January 25, the judge granted the definitive suspension so that he would not be extradited and would remain in the Altiplano while the amparo trial is completed.

“If it is taken into consideration that the high court has held that extradition is the act by which a State delivers a person who is in its territory to another State that demands him/her as an accused, prosecuted or convicted for the commission of a crime, so that he/she may be submitted to trial or imprisoned to serve the sentence imposed, it is unquestionable that the requested act consisting of the arrest warrant for extradition purposes is an act that if executed would materially and temporarily affect the liberty of the person whose extradition is requested and, therefore, it is appropriate to grant the suspension of its execution”, states the resolution.

On January 10, El Raton filed another lawsuit in the Seventh District Court of Amparo in Criminal Matters in Mexico City.

One day later, at the Altiplano, Ovidio was asked to state whether he recognized the signature on the amparo lawsuit as his own handwriting.

In the notification, Ovidio stated, “I am aware of the warning issued by the authority issuing the injunction. I do not recognize the signature and the content of the complaint that was presented to me”.

The judge declined to continue with the trial because he determined that he did not have jurisdiction by reason of the court.

On February 8 they filed another lawsuit in the Third District Court in Amparo and Federal Lawsuits in the State of Mexico.

The lawsuit is against the arrest and/or detention order; and against the arrest warrant for extradition purposes.

The judge granted the suspension against the extradition and to remain in the place where he is being held.

The judge asked the Justice Centers of the country to inform if Ovidio has an arrest warrant.

Article published on February 19, 2023 in the 1047 edition of the weekly Ríodoce.