How Cardinal Posadas’s assassination and Amado Carrillo’s betrayal led to El Chapo’s capture

The clandestine maneuvers and betrayals led to the first arrest of the notorious drug lord Joaquín Guzmán Loera, AKA El Chapo.

On May 24, 1993, a burst of gunfire generated panic and chaos in the vicinity of the Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla International Airport in Guadalajara, Jalisco.

A direct attack with more than 30 shell casings scattered on the asphalt of the parking lot caused the death of Cardinal Juan Jesús Posadas Ocampo. This event became one of the most atrocious episodes in the history of drug trafficking in Mexico.

Nevertheless, and despite the multiple versions that emerged to clarify the crime, the murder of the priest was a watershed for Joaquín Guzmán Loera – better known as El Chapo – to enter the radar of Mexican authorities even though at the time, he was just a gunman for the Guadalajara Cartel.

La versión de las autoridades mexicanas apuntaron a que el cardenal Juan Jesús Posadas Ocampo murió en un fuego cruzado resultado de las rencillas que "El Chapo" Guzmán mantenía con los hermanos Arellano Félix (Especial)
The version of the Mexican authorities was that Cardinal Juan Jesús Posadas Ocampo died in a crossfire due to the quarrels that “El Chapo” Guzmán had with the Arellano Félix brothers.

After the arrest of Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo, some leaders of the criminal organization tried to sustain the business that the also called Boss of Bosses had established thanks to the meticulous network of corruption he weaved at the end of the 70s and beginning of the 80′s.

One of them was Amado Carrillo Fuentes, nephew of the co-founder of the criminal organization Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo -DonNeto-, who, after his release from prison, allied himself with emerging leaders such as Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, Héctor “El Güero” Palma and the Beltrán Leyva brothers, according to investigations by journalist Anabel Hernández in her book Los Señores del Narco (The Lords of the Narco).

This is how El Señor de los Cielos and his allies began to dispute the Guadalajara plaza with their former partners, the Arellano Felix brothers, and, although from 1990 to 1993, El Chapo enjoyed the same protection that Mexican authorities provided to Amado Carrillo Fuentes in exchange for bribes, Joaquín Guzmán Loera began to generate problems for the criminal organization, for which Don Neto’s nephew had to make an important decision.

Amado Carrillo’s betrayal, according to anabel hernandez

De acuerdo con las investigaciones de Anabel Hernández, Amado Carrillo Fuentes habría traicionado a Joaquín Guzmán )
According to Anabel Hernández’s investigations, Amado Carrillo Fuentes betrayed Joaquín Guzmán.)

In 1993, El Chapo worked for Amado Carrillo in the Guadalajara Plaza and used to enjoy alcohol, drugs, scandal, and violence. According to journalist Anabel Hernandez, the young drug lord used to occupy entire floors of luxury hotels, attracting much attention.

Joaquín Guzmán Loera’s inexperience and his fondness for luxury and parties began to generate problems for the criminal organization that Amado Carrillo Fuentes was trying to sustain. However, the assassination of Cardinal Juan Jesús Posadas Ocampo ended up being the straw that broke the camel‘s back.

The Lord of the Skies had investigated in detail with his sources in the government those involved in the controversial crime and, according to Anabel Hernandez, the drug lord knew that neither Joaquin Guzman Loera nor the Arellano Felix brothers had participated; however, Amado Carrillo Fuentes saw in this circumstance the perfect opportunity to get rid of El Chapo.

Amado handed him over to the PGR not because he thought he was involved in the murder of Cardinal Posadas Ocampo, but because it was that moment or never,” reads the investigative journalist’s book Los Señores del Narco.

El Chapo Guzmán fue detenido en 1993 en Guatemala  (Foto: Cuartoscuro)
El Chapo Guzmán was arrested in 1993 in Guatemala (Photo: Cuartoscuro).

On June 9, 1993, Joaquín Guzmán Loera was captured on the border between Guatemala and Mexico. Authorities of the Central American country handed over El Chapo to the Attorney General’s Office (PGR) after Amado Carrillo Fuentes allegedly provided information for his apprehension.

Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán was transferred to the Federal Center for Social Readaptation (Cefereso) No. 1 in Almoloya de Juárez, where he remained incarcerated until November 1995, when he was transferred to the maximum security prison in Puente Grande, Jalisco from where he escaped for the first time in 2001.