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Judge sets Mexican trial for drug kingpin 'El Chapo' in motion

By Michael Weissenstein

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 25 2014 12:00 a.m. MST

In this image released by Mexico's Attorney General's Office, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is photographed against a wall after his arrest in the Pacific resort city of Mazatlan, Mexico. Federal prosecutors across the US are already jockeying over who will handle any case against drug kingpin Guzman, even though it’s far from clear whether he’ll ever be brought to the United States to face charges. Who gets to prosecute the longtime fugitive, apprehended over the weekend in Mexico and now charged with violating his country’s drug trafficking laws, would likely turn on which office has the strongest case _ and perhaps some politics.

PGR, Associated Press

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MEXICO CITY — A judge has ruled that drug kingpin Joaquin Guzman will stay for the immediate future in Mexico, where authorities say there is no chance that the man known as "El Chapo" will escape his cell in the nation's highest-security prison.

The judge said Tuesday that Guzman will stand trial on drug trafficking charges.

Mexico's top officials say he must face all local charges and interrogation by investigators looking to dismantle his multibillion-dollar cartel before possible U.S. extradition.

But experts say the government hasn't proven able to match such headline-grabbing arrests with long-term investigations and prosecutions of deep-rooted criminal networks. Cases have stalled, cartels keep operating and last year one of Guzman's closest allies walked out of the prison where the U.S. said he was running drugs from behind bars.

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