Mexico arrests drug lord Caro Quintero, US calls for extradition | Drugs News

Caro Quintero was beforehand jailed for the homicide of a US anti-drugs agent, and was on the FBI’s 10 ‘Most Wished’ listing.

Mexico’s Navy has introduced the seize of infamous drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero, convicted for the homicide and torture of a US anti-narcotics agent in 1985, in a serious win for regulation enforcement within the two international locations.

The kingpin rose to prominence as a co-founder of the Guadalajara Cartel, one in every of Latin America’s strongest drug trafficking organisations throughout the Eighties, and had been among the many most prized targets for US officers.

The US authorities hailed the arrest, and stated it will waste no time in requesting his extradition. “That is enormous,” White Home senior Latin America adviser Juan Gonzalez stated on Twitter.

The Mexican Navy stated in an announcement Caro Quintero was caught within the municipality of Choix within the northwestern state of Sinaloa, one in every of Mexico’s drug-trafficking heartlands.

Rafael Caro Quintero, in jeans, a pale blue shirt and khaki coloured jacket as he is detained by the Mexican Navy
Rafael Caro Quintero after being detained in Mexico’s Sinaloa state [Mexican Navy/Handout via Reuters]

He was present in shrub land by a military-trained feminine bloodhound named Max, the Navy stated.

The arrest in San Simon, Choix, comes after stress from america, in accordance with a Mexican official, and the identical week that President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador met US President Joe Biden in Washington.

Caro Quintero spent 28 years in jail for the brutal homicide of former US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent Enrique ‘Kiki’ Camarena, one of the infamous killings in Mexico’s bloody narco wars. The occasions, dramatised within the 2018 Netflix sequence Narcos: Mexico, led to a nadir in US-Mexico cooperation in a five-decade “conflict on medicine.”

Caro Quintero has beforehand denied involvement within the killing of Camarena. He was released in 2013 on a technicality by a Mexican choose, embarrassing the earlier authorities.

He shortly went underground and returned to trafficking as a part of the Sinaloa Cartel, in accordance with US officers, who put him on the FBI’s High 10 most wished fugitives listing and positioned a $20 million reward on his head, a report for a drug trafficker.

Final yr, he misplaced a last attraction in opposition to extradition to america. He shall be extradited as shortly as potential, one other Mexican official stated.

“It’s in all probability one of the necessary captures of the final decade when it comes to significance to the DEA,” stated Mike Vigil, the DEA’s former chief of worldwide operations.

US Legal professional Common Merrick Garland stated he would search Caro Quintero’s rapid extradition.

“There isn’t a hiding place for anybody who kidnaps, tortures, and murders American regulation enforcement. We’re deeply grateful to Mexican authorities for his or her seize and arrest of Rafael Caro-Quintero,” Garland stated in an announcement.

Whereas 69-year-old Caro Quintero is not thought of a key participant in worldwide drug trafficking, the symbolic impression of his seize is critical.

For Mexican safety skilled Alejandro Hope, the arrest pointed to important cooperation between america and Mexico regardless of current clashes over safety. “One of these seize is unthinkable with out the participation of the DEA,” he stated.

A FBI's ten most wanted fugitive poster shows details on Rafael Caro Quintero
Rafael Caro Quintero was one of many FBI’s most wished [FBI – Federal Bureau of Investigation via Reuters]

Mexico’s unwillingness to extradite Caro Quintero to america earlier than his launch from jail had been a supply of stress between the 2 international locations. A US official stated Washington was very wanting to have him extradited.

“This can hopefully begin to mend the frayed relationship between america and Mexico when it comes to combating drug trafficking,” stated former DEA official Vigil.

In its assertion, the Navy stated 14 of its personnel had died after a Black Hawk helicopter crashed within the metropolis of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, on Friday. The reason for the crash is below investigation, however thus far there was no info indicating the incident was associated to the capo’s arrest, the Navy stated.