In this Friday, Jan. 8, 2016 photo, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is made to face the press as he's escorted to a helicopter in handcuffs by soldiers and marines at a federal hangar in Mexico City.
Photo by Eduardo Verdugo/AP

Mexico formally begins extraditing ‘El Chapo’ to US

Updated

The Mexican government formally began the process of extraditing drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán to the United States, the attorney general’s office said in a statement Sunday.

Mexico resisted extraditing Guzmán — who is the head of the Sinaloa Cartel and is wanted on federal drug trafficking charges in San Diego; Brooklyn, New York; El Paso, Texas; Miami; and Chicago — after he was captured in 2014.

But then came a stunning and embarrassing development last July: Using a mile-long tunnel and a motorbike, Guzmán escaped from Altiplano, the maximum-security prison where he was being held.

RELATED: ‘El Chapo’ gave interview to Sean Penn before arrest

It was the second prison break of his life.

After a six-month manhunt, Guzmán was recaptured Friday in the northwestern town of Los Mochis by Mexican marines.

In the statement, the attorney general’s office said authorities delivered extradition orders Sunday to the prison where Guzmán is being held, formally starting the process to have him sent to the United States.

Once the evidentiary part of the proceedings is complete, the statement said, a judge will issue a legal opinion and the Foreign Affairs Ministry will provide a corresponding agreement.

The news comes a day after the startling revelation that actor Sean Penn conducted a secret interview with Guzmán in October for Rolling Stone magazine.

This story originally appeared on NBCNews.com

Drugs, El Chapo and Mexico

Mexico formally begins extraditing 'El Chapo' to US

Updated