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Dámaso López, key witness against El Chapo, extradited to Virginia for criminal charges

Mexico  City, Mexico — The government of Mexico has extradited Dámaso López to the US for charges in Virginia.

In a press conference, head of the Attorney General’s Office Alberto Elías Beltrán, said Dámaso López who was in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua was deported to the United States because he is wanted by the Western District Court of Virginia for criminal association crimes.

Elías Beltrán noted that according to the US government, Damaso is a key witness against Joaquin Guzman Loera, considered the main leader of a criminal group with an operation in Sinaloa whose trial is scheduled for September 2018 in the Federal Court of District for the Eastern District of New York.

“This extradition is essential for both the US and Mexican authorities for the testimonial contribution that can be obtained in relation to Joaquín Guzmán Loera and means a watershed in the cooperative relationship between both governments, particularly with regard to the exchange of information,” he explained.

Elías Beltrán indicated that for the PGR and the US Department of Justice, there is a common legal interest for the trial and the sanction against Guzmán Loera to be successful.

In this regard, he stressed that the United States and Mexico have developed an unprecedented collaboration aimed at the disregard of criminal organizations such as the one headed by Guzmán Lorea and of which Dámaso was allegedly a high-ranking leader.

He said that Dámaso has been in custody since May 2017, when he was arrested by the Criminal Investigation Agency and the National Defense Secretariat. In January of this year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued an agreement granting the extradition of Damaso to the government of the United States.