syndication.ap.orgFILE - In this Jan. 8, 2016 file photo, Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is escorted by army soldiers to a waiting helicopter, at a federal hangar in Mexico City, after he was recaptured from breaking out of a maximum security prison in Mexico. The History channel says it's developing a drama series focusing on Guzman's story. Last year, Guzman had broken out of prison and was on the run when he had a secret meeting with Mexican actress Kate del Castillo and Sean Penn. The actor wrote about it for Rolling Stone. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File), did not specify those concerns or say whether Mexican officials had information about possible new escape plots. He also did not specify the officials with whom he spoke.
Jose Refugio Rodriguez, an attorney for Guzman, said defense lawyers had not been notified beforehand and one of them was traveling to Juarez to try to meet with their client.
"I don't know what the strategy is," Refugio told The Associated Press. "I can't say what the government is thinking."
He confirmed that Guzman's lawyers are still trying to block extradition.
Mexican security analyst Alejandro Hope called it plausible that Guzman was moved due to upgrades being done at Altiplano, but said officials also may have feared the possibility of another jailbreak attempt.
"The more he remains at a single prison, in a single cell, the more the chances that he will rebuild the conditions that led to his escape," Hope said. "So this also might be a deliberate attempt to destabilize any such plans."
Getty ImagesMexico's Attorney General Arely Gomez shows a picture of Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman during a press conference held at the Secretaria de Gobernacion in Mexico City, on July 13, 2015.
Hope doubted the decision had anything to do with preparations for extradition, noting that it would be just as easy to put Guzman on a plane in Mexico City as in Juarez. He added that the Cefereso No. 9 is one of Mexico's newest prisons, constructed within the last five years or so.
"The surrounding environment is risky because 'El Chapo' certainly has a lot of people in Ciudad Juarez, so it seems like a relatively odd choice," Hope said. "Probably the other alternatives were not any better, whatever their objective was."
Guzman faces charges from seven separate U.S. attorneys' offices, including in Chicago, New York, Miami and San Diego.
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman in El Paso, Texas, referred inquiries to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which did not immediately respond to telephone and email messages. Messages left with representatives of the U.S. Attorney's Office and the U.S. Marshals Service in El Paso also were not returned immediately. The U.S. Justice Department declined to comment.
"El Chapo" first broke out of a Mexican prison in 2001. He was recaptured in 2014, only to escape the Altiplano lockup the following year through a mile-long tunnel dug to the floor of the shower stall in his cell.
Mexican marines re-arrested him in the western state of Sinaloa in January, after he fled a safe house through a storm drain.
He was returned to Altiplano, where officials beefed up his security regimen. Guzman was placed under constant observation from a ceiling camera with no blind spots, and the floors of top-security cells were reinforced with metal bars and a 16-inch (40-centimeter) layer of concrete.