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Mexico’s seize of drug kingpin could possibly be sign to US


MEXICO CITY — The USA’ motivation to search out notorious drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero was by no means doubtful — therefore the $20 million reward for data resulting in his seize — there was much less certainty concerning the dedication of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who had made clear his lack of curiosity in pursuing drug lords.

But on Friday, three days after López Obrador and U.S. President Joe Biden met within the White Home, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s most wished goal was in Mexican custody.

The person allegedly chargeable for the homicide of a DEA agent greater than three a long time in the past was rousted from the undergrowth by a bloodhound as Mexican marines closed in deep within the mountains of his native state of Sinaloa.

The arrest got here at a heavy value: Fourteen Mexican marines died and one other was injured when a navy Blackhawk helicopter crashed in the course of the operation. The navy mentioned it appeared to have been an accident, with the trigger beneath investigation.

Mexico’s Lawyer Normal’s Workplace mentioned in a press release late Friday that Caro Quintero was arrested for extradition to the U.S. and can be held on the most safety Altiplano jail about 50 miles west of Mexico Metropolis.

DEA Administrator Anne Milgram celebrated the seize of a person particularly despised by U.S. officers for the torture and homicide of DEA agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena in 1985. “Our unimaginable DEA crew in Mexico labored in partnership with Mexican authorities to seize and arrest Rafael Caro Quintero”, she mentioned in a message to the company late Friday. “At the moment’s arrest is the results of years of your blood, sweat, and tears.”

Cooperation between the DEA and Mexico’s marines had led to a few of the highest-profile captures throughout earlier administrations, however not beneath López Obrador, famous safety analyst David Saucedo.

“It appears to me that within the personal talks between President Joe Biden and Andrés Manuel (López Obrador) they absolutely agreed to turning over high-profile drug traffickers once more, which had been suspended,” Saucedo mentioned.

Each presidents face home stress to do extra in opposition to drug traffickers. With Caro Quintero’s arrest, “Narcos are being captured once more and I imagine that clearly it was what was actually wanted,” Saucedo mentioned.

U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar mentioned in a press release Saturday that no U.S. personnel participated instantly within the tactical operation that led to the seize of the drug lord. “The apprehension of Caro Quintero was solely performed by the Mexican authorities.”

Samuel González, who based the organized crime workplace in Mexico’s Lawyer Normal’s Workplace and now’s a safety analyst, mentioned the seize might not have a serious impact on the map of organized crime in Mexico, as Caro Quintero was not as highly effective as a long time in the past, and it would even generate extra violence in territories similar to Sonora, on the US border.

However he mentioned that to López Obrador’s profit, the arrest “reveals proof that there’s no safety of capos” by his administration.

González believes Caro Quintero has lengthy been a thorn within the bilateral relationship, however mentioned that “doubtless” his seize was fruit of the latest negotiations in Washington.

“The Individuals by no means stopped urgent for his arrest,” González mentioned.

U.S. Lawyer Normal Merrick Garland and Salazar expressed gratitude for Mexico’s seize of the person blamed for killing Camarena — a case that introduced a low level in U.S.-Mexico relations.

“This achievement is a testomony to Mexico’s dedication to deliver to justice somebody who terrorized and destabilized Mexico throughout his time within the Guadalajara Cartel; and is implicated within the kidnapping, torture and homicide of DEA agent Kiki Camarena,” Salazar mentioned in a press release late Friday.

Garland mentioned the U.S. authorities would search his rapid extradition.

“My hope is that with the seize of Caro Quintero, that that can mend numerous tensions between the DEA and Mexico”, mentioned Mike Vigil, the DEA’s former chief of worldwide operations.

Mexico’s navy and Lawyer’s Normal Workplace led the operation deep within the mountains that straddle the border between Sinaloa and Chihuahua states, many miles from any paved street. They discovered Caro Quintero, with assist of “Max,” hiding in brush in a spot in Sinaloa known as San Simon.

López Obrador mentioned that the helicopter that crashed within the coastal metropolis of Los Mochis had been supporting the operation in opposition to Caro Quintero. U.S. officers expressed condolences for the marines who died.

Caro Quintero got here from Badiraguato, Sinaloa, the identical township as Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the previous chief of the Sinaloa cartel, which fashioned later. Caro Quintero was one of many founders of the Guadalajara cartel and based on the DEA was one of many main suppliers of heroin, cocaine and marijuana to the US within the late Nineteen Seventies and Nineteen Eighties.

Caro Quintero had blamed Camarena for a raid on an enormous marijuana plantation in 1984. The following 12 months, Camarena was kidnapped in Guadalajara, allegedly on orders from Caro Quintero. His tortured physique was discovered a month later.

Caro Quintero was captured in Costa Rica in 1985 and was serving a 40-year sentence in Mexico when an appeals courtroom overturned his verdict in 2013. The Supreme Court docket upheld the sentence, however it was too late — Caro Quintero had been spirited off in a ready automobile.

Caro Quintero was added to FBI’s 10 most wished checklist in 2018 with a $20 million reward for his seize.

López Obrador had beforehand appeared ambivalent about his case.

Final 12 months, the president mentioned the authorized attraction that led to Caro Quintero’s launch was “justified” as a result of supposedly no verdict had been handed down in opposition to the drug lord after 27 years in jail. López Obrador additionally depicted a later warrant for his re-arrest for example of U.S. stress.

“As soon as he was out, they needed to search for him once more, as a result of the US demanded he shouldn’t have been launched, however legally the attraction was justified,” López Obrador mentioned.

Presidential spokesman Jesús Ramírez mentioned on the time, “The president was simply saying that it was a authorized aberration that the choose had not issued a verdict on Mr. Caro Quintero after 27 years … however he was not defending his launch.”

Mexican reporter Anabel Hernandez twice interviewed the fugitive Caro Quintero within the mountains of northern Mexico with out revealing the situation. Caro Quintero claimed in these interviews that he was now not concerned within the drug commerce.



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