Grisly cartel violence has plagued Mexico in recent decades, effectively destabilizing its government and encasing its citizenry in trepidation and fear. A joint operation between Mexican Marines and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in February 2014, however, finally penetrated the myth of invulnerability for drug trafficking organizations with the arrest of that world’s most powerful leader, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán. Although this development is evidence of Mexican law enforcement’s newfound ability to track and capture the most dominant of drug bosses, Mexico’s criminal justice system continues to lack the requisite structure, political will, and expertise to mount such a high-profile prosecution successfully. Mexico, therefore, must extradite Guzmán to the United States to ensure that he receives immediate and adequate justice. A failed prosecution in Mexico would undermine public trust and subvert implementation of Mexico’s recent criminal justice reforms before they are realized, ultimately stunting its conversion to an accusatorial, public trial system and maintaining the violent status quo.
Mexico’s Catch-22: How the Necessary Extradition of Drug Cartel Leaders Undermines Long-Term Criminal Justice Reforms,
B.C. Int'l & Comp. L. Rev.