Not long after Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was apprehended in Mexico, attention turned to an important question: would the notorious drug lord be extradited to the United States? As of now, that seems likely.
A day after fugitive Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was captured, the Mexican government has said it aims to fulfill an extradition request from the United States for the notorious cartel kingpin, a source within the Mexican attorney general’s office told NBC News on Saturday.Guzman, who was captured Friday after a six-month manhunt, faces charges in numerous jurisdictions across the United States.
The political pressure is already intensifying. Republicans who cower in fear at the idea of bringing Guantanamo Bay detainees to American soil are, oddly enough, now demanding that the Obama administration do everything possible to bring the infamous drug kingpin to face justice in American courts.
One of the more prominent voices is Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who on Friday called on the White House to act “immediately.”
Perhaps the process would move forward more smoothly if the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico worked with Mexican officials to expedite extradition? Probably, but there’s a hitch: there is no U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, because Marco Rubio refuses to let us have one.
Secretary of State John Kerry condemned the Senate Republican majority last week for refusing to hold confirmation votes on a growing list of qualified diplomatic nominees, many of whom are facing delays because GOP senators are playing tired partisan games, blocking votes to annoy the White House. Politico reported:
Among the positions Kerry singled out as deserving confirmation is that of the ambassador to Mexico, a key trade partner whose border with the United States is a major focus of Republican presidential candidates seeking to crack down on undocumented immigrants.Sen. Marco Rubio, a candidate for president who has called for more border enforcement, has held up the nomination of highly regarded career civil servant Roberta Jacobson because of his frustration with the Obama administration’s decision to re-establish diplomatic ties with Cuba.
Right about now, everyone would benefit if the United States had an ambassador to Mexico. President Obama has nominated a qualified official who enjoys broad support. If Rubio would end his little tantrum, he might even get what he wants out of the “El Chapo” process.