MEXICO CITY - A Mexican judge decided Tuesday to put drug baron Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman on trial even as authorities left the door open to extraditing the fallen kingpin to the United States.
The National Judicial Council said in a statement that Guzman was formally ordered to stay in prison for "organized crime with intent to commit crimes against health" -- a legal euphemism for drug trafficking.
Guzman, 56, has three days to appeal the ruling, which represents the first formal charges against the Sinaloa cartel boss since Mexican marines captured him in a US-backed operation on Saturday in a Pacific beach town.
The attorney general's office plans to lodge additional charges against Guzman, including using funds from illegal activities and possession of weapons reserved for the military.
Meanwhile, US prosecutors have announced plans to file an extradition request. Guzman faces drug trafficking charges in several US jurisdictions from New York to Chicago and San Diego, California.
His arrest was a major victory in President Enrique Pena Nieto's campaign against drug violence that has left around 80,000 people dead since 2006.
The capture was also a triumph for the US Drug Enforcement Administration and its 13-year effort to bring down the world's most wanted drug lord, who had fled from prison in 2001.
Interior Minister Miguel Angelo Osorio Chong said Mexican investigators want to extract information from Guzman before examining any bid to put him on trial in the United States.
"What we need is information," Osorio Chong told Radio Formula.
"If we are satisfied with what we get, and the United States also requires this person in that country" then Mexico would not see "any inconvenience," he said.
Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam said he had spoken with his US counterpart, Eric Holder, on Tuesday.
"He told me about the possibility (of requesting an extradition) and I told him that it is an issue that we have to review," Murillo Karam said.
Mexico's top prosecutor said it was too soon to say whether Guzman would be extradited and that such a move would not happen quickly.
Guzman's lawyers have already requested an injunction to prevent any extradition to the United States.
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