Rafael Caro Quintero, a notorious drug kingpin who was convicted of killing and torturing a US anti-drug agent in 1985, has been apprehended, according to the Mexican Navy, marking a significant victory for law enforcement in both nations.
In the 1980s, the kingpin rose to prominence as a co-founder of the Guadalajara Cartel, one of Latin America’s most powerful drug trafficking organizations, and was one of the United States’ highest priority arrest targets.
The US government applauded the arrest and pledged to seek his extradition without delay. Juan Gonzalez, a senior adviser for Latin America at the White House, tweeted, “This is huge.”
Caro Quintero was apprehended, according to the Mexican Navy, near the community of Choix in the northwest state of Sinaloa, which is a hub for drug trafficking in Mexico.
According to the Navy, a female bloodhound with military training named Max discovered him in a bush area.
According to a Mexican official, the arrest in San Simon, Choix, happened under US pressure and during the same week that President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador met US Vice President Joe Biden in Washington.
In one of the most infamous killings of Mexico’s horrific narco warfare, Caro Quintero was imprisoned for 28 years for the gruesome murder of former US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena.
The events shown in Netflix’s Narcos: Mexico from 2018 were a low point in the US-Mexico partnership during the drug war, which had been going on for the better part of five decades.
Prior to this, Caro Quintero denied any involvement in the murder of Camarena. A Mexican judge released him in 2013 based on a technicality, insulting the previous administration.
US authorities claim that he soon left the spotlight and resumed trafficking as a member of the Sinaloa Cartel. As a result, they listed him as one of the FBI’s Top 10 Most Wanted Fugitive and offered a record-breaking $20 million reward for his capture.
He lost his final attempt to stop his extradition to the US last year. Another Mexican official assured them that he will be returned to Mexico as soon as possible.
Former DEA chief of international operations Mike Vigil called it “It is probably one of the most important captures of the last decade in terms of importance to the DEA.”
According to US Attorney General Merrick Garland, Caro Quintero’s prompt extradition will be sought.
“There is no hiding place for anyone who kidnaps, tortures, and murders American law enforcement. We are deeply grateful to Mexican authorities for their capture and arrest of Rafael Caro-Quintero,” Garland said in a statement.
Caro Quintero, 69, is no longer regarded as a major figure in global drug trafficking, but his arrest has had a powerful symbolic effect.
Despite recent disputes over security, according to Mexican security analyst Alejandro Hope, the arrest demonstrated strong coordination between the United States and Mexico. Without the involvement of the DEA, “this type of capture is unthinkable,” he remarked.
The tension between the two nations had been caused by Mexico’s refusal to extradite Caro Quintero to the United States before his release from prison. According to a US official, Washington was quite eager to extradite him.
“This will hopefully start to mend the frayed relationship between the United States and Mexico in terms of combating drug trafficking,” said former DEA official Vigil.
The Navy released a statement on Friday saying that 14 service members had been killed when a Black Hawk helicopter crashed in the city of Los Mochis in the Mexican state of Sinaloa. The crash’s cause is under examination, but the Navy has found no link to the capo’s detention.
Image Credit: ABC News
You were reading: Co-founder Of The Guadalajara Cartel Wanted In Killing Of DEA Agent Detained: “This Is Huge”