A Mexican federal judge who reportedly oversaw infamous drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán’s extradition case was gunned down Monday while jogging near his home.
Vicente Antonio Bermúdez Zacarías, a district court magistrate for appeals and civil judgments in the city of Toluca, was killed Monday in Metepec, Mexico’s Supreme Court said in a statement.
In March, Bermúdez suspended Guzmán’s extradition to the US despite the drug leader's request to accelerate it after Guzmán alleged he was tortured while in Mexican custody, according to El Universal.
Security video leaked to news media of Bermúdez being shot in the back of the head as he was jogging was quickly condemned by Mexican authorities who said its release could damage the investigation.
The assassination happened as the country's justice operators attempt to adapt to a new justice system. The justice overhaul, launched in 2008 and completed in June, ushered in an adversarial system, in which both parties in a trial present their arguments orally before a judge. Before, judges in Mexico would both investigate a case and render a decision based off of written testimonies and police reports, rarely meeting with the accused in person.
On Tuesday, the president of the Senate, Pablo Escudero, expressed his condolences.
"The Senate of the Republic expresses its solidarity with the Judicial Power of the Federation and its profound respect for the work undertaken by its members," said Escudero.
The gunman in the shooting remains at large.
Adolfo Flores is a national security correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles. He focuses on immigration.
Contact Adolfo Flores at email@example.com.
Karla Zabludovsky is the Mexico bureau chief and Latin America correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in Mexico City.
Contact Karla Zabludovsky at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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