Court gives green light for Caro Quintero's extradition to the U.S.

04/05/2021

The green light has been given to extradite Rafael Caro Quintero, founder of the Guadalajara Cartel, to the United States. A Collegiate Court in criminal matters confirmed the decision that denied Rafael Caro Quintero's appeal against the extradition process to be tried for the murder of DEA agent Enrique Camarena. Caro Quintero obtained his freedom in 2013, after 28 years in prison for Camarena's death.

Rafael Caro Quintero in the prison's practice rack in Mexico City's Reclusorio Norte, in April 1985. He is currently one of the FBI's most wanted fugitives. Photo Xinhua
Rafael Caro Quintero in the prison's practice rack in Mexico City's Reclusorio Norte, in April 1985. He is currently one of the FBI's most wanted fugitives. Photo Xinhua

United States seeks to confiscate 5 properties belonging to Rafael Caro Quintero

A U.S. judge authorized the seizure of five properties in Mexico belonging to one of the men most wanted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI): Rafael Caro Quintero, or "RCQ", who co-founded the Guadalajara cartel and is now head of a criminal faction that bears his name, and is wanted for the murder of a U.S. federal agent.

The forfeiture order was filed in federal court in Brooklyn. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Manhattan identifies five properties - homes and condominiums in and around Guadalajara worth several million dollars - allegedly purchased with drug money and placed in the names of Caro Quintero's relatives. The acquisition of these properties was made with drug money carried out by the Caro Quintero organization, a faction of the Sinaloa cartel, court documents state.

"The United States will seek to enforce this order through diplomatic channels," the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement following the decision by U.S. District Judge Eric Vitaliano.

Caro Quintero is accused by the U.S. justice system of ordering the murder of DEA agent Enrique Kiki Camarena in Mexico in 1985, after savagely torturing him. He is one of the 10 most wanted men by the FBI, which is offering a 20 million dollar reward for him.

RCQ was arrested in 1985, tried in Mexico, and sentenced to 40 years in prison. But in 2013 a judge released him on a legal technicality. Shortly thereafter, justice again called for his capture, but it was too late: RCQ had disappeared.

For the DEA, it is a personal matter. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency believes that RCQ is hiding in Mexico. "The unprecedented seizures announced today show our willingness and perseverance to bring RCQ to justice to face the consequences of his alleged crimes (...) We will never forget the courage and sacrifice of Special Agent Camarena," said Ray Donovan, head of the DEA in New York, in the statement.

According to the lawsuit, between 1980 and 2015 Caro Quintero's organization transported marijuana, methamphetamine, and cocaine from Mexico to the United States. RCQ used the money to purchase properties and placed them in the names of family members to avoid seizure, the US justice system claims.

By Mexicanist