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13 more former prison officials and guards have been arrested and detained over the escape of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, including the ex-head of Mexico's prison system, Celina Oseguera Parra, and the ex-warden of the prison at Altiplano, Valentín Cárdenas Lerma, both of whom were fired days after El Chapo's escape (use Google translate for this and subsequent links).
Celina Osequera Parra is the most interesting of the arrested officials. [More...]
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The final verdict in Italy's longstanding prosecution of Amanda Knox was delivered orally in March by the Court of Cassation, Italy's top criminal court. By law, the court has to follow up with a written ruling. The opinion has now been released. It says the case against Knox was very weak, there was no biological evidence linking her to the bedroom where her roommate was killed, prosecutors should have known the case was shaky early on.
Italy’s top criminal court has scathingly faulted prosecutors for presenting a flawed and hastily constructed case against Amanda Knox and her former Italian boyfriend, saying Monday it threw out their convictions for the 2007 murder of her British roommate in part because there was no proof they were in the bedroom where the woman was fatally stabbed.
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From what I can understand, a three judge panel of the Collegiate Court has rejected the Mexican Attorney General's request to overturn a District Court Order granting a temporary order of protection to El Chapo against his being turned over to for extradition to the U.S. before he is given a hearing at which he can raise his defenses to extradition.
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Carlos Lehder has written a letter to Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos, asking him to intervene with U.S. authorities so he go come home to Colombia to die. (Apparently he is not ill, he is just thinking of death since he is "close to 70." He's about to turn 66.) He ends his letter with (via google translate):
"With humility and the hope of the paisa arriero, expelled from Colombia, I have remained and survived 28 years in captivity... I am getting close to 70 years of age and deserve to die in Colombia."
Lehder was the first of the Medellin cartel leaders to be extradited to the U.S. In 1987, he was arrested, whisked onto a plane and brought to the U.S. At that time his net worth was estimated to be $2.5 billion. His trial lasted 7 months, he was convicted and sentenced to life without parole plus 135 years. (Here is the court opinion affirming his conviction and sentence. [More...]
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The Drug Enforcement Administration today announced via Twitter it has launched a tipline for information on the whereabouts of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman-Loera. It provided an email address and phone number. The email address includes the description "Chapotips." The tips will be processed by the DEA San Diego office. There is a $5 million reward.
Acting DEA Chief Chuck Rosenberg said today he believes El Chapo is still in Mexico, probably in Sinaloa. He said that while there is information sharing with Mexico, it doesn't encompass the whole of Mexico's Government. [More...]
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A court in Mexico has granted a request filed by El Chapo's lawyers to suspend the order of detention for purposes of extradition entered Wednesday. (Use google translate). The request for a writ of amparo against the detention order was filed Wednesday in the Fifth District court handling Amparo matters, the same day the judge in the Third District Court handling criminal matters granted the request for the detention order.
I think this means he can still be arrested, but he can't be extradited until he has an opportunity to present his defenses against extradition. [More...]
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The Mexican Attorney General's office (PGR), issued a statement today (available here in Spanish) saying that a federal judge has approved an order of detention for Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman-Loera for the purposes of extradition to the U.S.
The statement says the Judge reviewed the U.S. request for extradition submitted in late June, 2015, and found it meets the treaty requirements.
Of course, first he must be recaptured alive, and second, he gets to challenge his extradition in court, which could take a year or more. [More...]
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The White House today released an official statement rejecting a "We the People" online pardon petition for Edward Snowden. The petition had 167,000 signatures.
Dan Froomkin at the Intercept has more.
The White House response was written by Lisa Monaco. She includes this:
“He should come home to the United States, and be judged by a jury of his peers.”
How can he be judged by a jury without an opportunity to explain his defense? According to Glenn Grennwald:
He’s barred under the Espionage Act even from arguing that his leaks were justified; he wouldn’t be permitted to utter a word about that.
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Veteran journalist Ginger Thompson has an article in Pro Publica about the theories floating around that the Mexican Government had a deal with Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman and the escape through the tunnel story doesn't ring true.
She recounts a breakfast she had last week with "a senior Mexican intelligence official", a "veteran American counternarcotics agent" and a guy who was in Mexican cartels for 30 years. His last cartel was the Zetas.
No one in this deeply sourced group was surprised. Nor were they particularly interested in the logistical details of the escape, although they clearly didn’t believe the version they’d heard from the Mexican government.... They were convinced it was all a deal cut at some link in the system’s chain.
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Here's the video of the Sandra Bland traffic stop released today on You Tube by the TX Dept of Public Safety.
CNN was all Sandra Bland all day in the car. I don't have anything to add, but I'm posting it for those who are interested.
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A few days ago, the Attorney General of Mexico announced that on June 25, 2015, less than two weeks before his escape, Mexico had received a diplomatic note requesting extradition of El Chapo to the Southern District of of California. Here is Mexico's official press release. Via Google translate, it says:
She informed senators and deputies, on 25 June this year was received from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a diplomatic note, through which the Government of the United States of America made the formal request for the extradition of Joaquin Guzman Loera, in order to be processed by the Federal District Court for the Southern District of California on charges of conspiring to import and possess with the intent to distribute cocaine.
She explained that she turned instructions to the areas of the PGR, to analyze the request and be attached to the legal requirements and of the international treaty on the subject signed between both countries, consideration of the Judicial power of the Federation, in accordance with the appropriate procedure.
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Here are some pictures of the inside of the tunnel that went between Chapo's prison shower and the house over a mile away.
Here's one with showing the light:
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I'm sure everyone has seen this video by now of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman pacing in his cell before disappearing while bending down over the hole in his shower floor.
Two questions: Why did they release this photo of him when he clearly has hair in the video?
The photos of his jail cell are very disturbing. It is a filthy horrid place. Who wouldn't want to escape from this hellhole prison? [More....]
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Blog de Narco has received three photograghs purporting to show Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman-Loera after his escape from Altiplano prison in Almaloya de Juarez. While it cannot verify the photos, it did use software that established they were not edited or photo-shopped.
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Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman has done it again! He's escaped from the high security prison in Altiplano, through a tunnel. Several prison workers are being held.
The articles say if he makes it home to Culiacan in the mountains, he's unlikely to be captured. [More...]
The tunnel was built from a 50 centimeter hole in the shower. It then widened, and extended for a mile. It was about 33 feet deep.
President Nieto is in France, and his Administration will be very embarrassed by this.
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