- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 19, 2006

NEW YORK (AP) — Mexican President Vicente Fox said yesterday that his country is willing to extradite any drug lord in its custody wanted by the United States.

Mr. Fox said Mexico has 16 “big leaders” of drug gangs in jail along with 75,000 lower-level members of various cartels.

“We are fighting hard and attaining very important results,” Mr. Fox said of Mexico’s fight against drug dealers.

The U.S. is thought to have requested the extradition of at least three suspected drug kingpins: Benjamin Arellano Felix of the Arellano Felix smuggling syndicate; Osiel Cardenas, of the Gulf cartel; and Hector “El Guero” Palma, of the Sinaloa drug cartel.

“We will extradite all of those who have pending matters with U.S. justice,” Mr. Fox said.

The remarks at a press conference in New York, where Mr. Fox was attending the U.N. General Assembly session, were the first time Mexico’s president has made such a sweeping commitment to send wanted drug lords to face U.S. charges.

Mexico extradited its first wanted drug kingpin — Francisco Rafael Arellano Felix — to the U.S. over the weekend. Before that, Mexico had often balked at such acts.

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