Caro Quintero's appeal against his transfer to the U.S. accepted for review

A judge in the State of Mexico rejected one of Caro Quintero's petitions to delay his extradition to the United States on September 20.

Caro Quintero's appeal against his transfer to the U.S. accepted for review
Rafael Caro Quintero seeks injunction against prison abuse and cruel treatment. Photo: Agencies

A federal court agreed to investigate Rafael Caro Quintero's request that Mexican authorities not attempt to extradite him to the United States without first going through an extradition process.

This is because, on September 20, a judge in the state of Mexico denied one of the former Guadalajara cartel's pleas. He intended to avoid having to confront US authorities by shipping drugs to the US as soon as possible.

The judge sent the file and the appeal for review filed by Caro Quintero's defense on Tuesday, and the judges of the collegiate circuit court will have to determine whether to confirm or revoke the dismissal of the appeal in the coming weeks or months.

Caro Quintero is the subject of at least four appeal cases

According to the Federal Judiciary Council (CJF), the drug trafficker is facing at least four different appeal lawsuits in Mexico over his express shipment to the United States. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE) was asked to explain Caro Quintero's condition in one of these cases.

Rafael Caro Quintero is wanted by the US for the murder of Enrique Camarena, a US Drug Enforcement Agency agent, in Guadalajara, Jalisco, in February 1985. On July 15, members of the Navy apprehended the drug dealer in Choix, Sinaloa. He had been on the run for several years after being released by a court order.

Who is Caro Quintero?

Accused of Camarena's murder, Caro Quintero served prison time in Mexico until August 2013, when he was released in a controversial ruling, and last Friday he was recaptured and could be extradited to the US. In several appearances since 2013, the drug lord has denied any responsibility for Kiki Camarena's death.

Jordan affirms that Caro Quintero's testimony would harm "many people who are still alive and who were officials in the Reagan and De la Madrid administrations. It won't be good for them. Camarena died on Caro Quintero's orders. There are still people alive in the U.S. [from the Reagan administration] who are trembling and praying that he will not be extradited to the U.S. They don't want him here. They don't want him here.

Reagan (1911-2004) and De la Madrid (1934-2012) governed in an era that accelerated the political penetration of international drug trafficking.

After the murder in February 1985 of Camarena and the Mexican pilot Alfredo Zavala, in the service of the DEA, Caro Quintero fled to Costa Rica, where he entered on March 17 of that year. On April 4, 1985, he was captured in a mansion northwest of Costa Rica and the following day, along with his entourage, was deported to Mexico.

Caro Quintero was the head of the Guadalajara Cartel at the time, and Camarena's crime was linked to his associates, Mexican drug traffickers Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo (imprisoned since 1989 in Mexico) and Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo (imprisoned from 1985 to 2016 and now in prison).

The Guadalajara Cartel -- in particular Caro Quintero -- was involved with the CIA in a deal to bring arms from Mexico to Honduras and Nicaragua to the Nicaraguan "contra," an irregular anti-communist armed force that the White House and the CIA created between 1981 and 1982 to fight the leftist revolution that ruled Nicaragua from 1979 to 1990.

For Camarena's crime, a US court sentenced to prison in the 1990s the Honduran drug trafficker Juan Ramón Matta Ballesteros, liaison between the Guadalajara and Medellín cartels, Colombia, and captured in Honduras in 1988, and the Mexicans Juan José Bernabé Ramírez, ex-cop arrested in 1989 in California and released in 2020; Javier Vásquez Velásquez and Rubén Zuno Arce.

Owner of the mansion where Camarena was tortured, Rubén Zuno Arce was the brother-in-law of the late former president of Mexico, Luis Echeverría Álvarez (1922-2022), was imprisoned in 1989 in Texas for Camarena's death and died in prison in 2012.