The extradition of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera, the possible release of Elba Esther Gordillo, the capture of Javier Duarte de Ochoa, and streamlining of the Penal Justice System — which has been accused of impunity — will be top priority issues for Mexican justice in 2017.
There are at least five motions against Guzmán Loera’s extradition, which are currently under review in the Fifth Collegiate Court, after a judge denied him the possibility of refusing transfer to the United States.
According to the defense’s allegations, Mexican prosecutors want Guzmán Loera’s case to reach the Supreme Court, which would determine whether he faces the death penalty in the United States. The extradition process is expected to be lengthy, and will most likely not be resolved this year. Joaquín Guzmán has a pending Texas court case for homicide and kidnapping of two U.S. citizens.
Meanwhile, the Senate will decide if the Army and Navy will return to their bases or if they will continue to serve large roles in public security matters. This issue has received a lot of attention from NGO’s which are against the militarization of the state.
Another controversial issue to be addressed in 2017 is the capture of former governor of Veracruz Javier Duarte de Ochoa who has multiple charges against him, including participation in organized crime. In the last few days, the Attorney General’s Office (PGR) increased the reward to 15 million pesos ($710,403).
The case of the 43 disappeared persons from the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers College will continue to receive attention. Based on protections granted to the leader of Guerreros Unidos, Sidronio Casarrubias — one of the accused for participation in the disappearance of the students — there were serious violations of a due process, exemplified by the torture to which he was subjected. Due to his accusations, he has been exempted from a prison sentence. It is expected that the others accused who faced torture will face similar exemptions from their prison sentences.