Mexico under pressure from the United States for the extradition of capo Caro Quintero

With the arrest of Caro Quintero, certain US pressures on Mexico on security issues calm down.


The arrest in Mexico of capo Rafael Caro Quintero, after almost a decade on the run, has shaken the country and caused pressure for the immediate extradition request by the United States government.

“We will request his immediate extradition (of Caro Quintero) to the United States so that he can be tried for his crimes in the same justice system that special agent Camarena died defending,” US Attorney General Merrick Garland said Friday.

Caro Quintero is a Mexican capo accused in the United States of America for the kidnapping, torture and murder of Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, special agent of the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in 1985.

The Government of Mexico reported on Friday the arrest of Quintero in the community of San Simón, in the municipality of Choix, Sinaloa, in northern Mexico.

Ambassador specifies that the US did not participate in the capture

The United States ambassador to Mexico, Ken Salazar, clarified that no element of the Joe Biden government was involved in the arrest of Mexican capo Rafael Caro Quintero.

“To clarify, no United States personnel participated in the tactical operation that resulted in the arrest of Caro Quintero: Caro Quintero’s apprehension was carried out exclusively by the Mexican government,” the ambassador said in a statement.

Salazar’s statements come after the DEA affirmed that the arrest of the Mexican drug trafficker occurred between US agents and elements from Mexico.

“Today, our incredible DEA team in Mexico worked in conjunction with Mexican authorities to capture and arrest Rafael Caro Quintero,” DEA Chief Anne Milgram said in an internal statement.

Mexico has the ability to capture any capo

Andrés Sumano, a specialist in security issues at the Colegio de la Frontera Norte (Colef), pointed out that the imminent extradition of Caro Quintero reflects the ability of the Mexican government to capture any drug trafficker.

“Evidently the Mexican government, the Mexican navy and the Mexican army have the capacity to arrest any criminal in the country, that is clear,” said the expert.

Sumano elaborated that “whether there are arrests or not, it has more to do with a matter of political will,” since he said that “President Andrés Manuel López Obrador does not believe in large arrests as a mechanism to reduce violence.”

He indicated that with this arrest certain pressures from the United States on Mexico on security issues are calmed, as well as that he satisfied certain criminal groups such as the Sinaloa Cartel, the Salazars, and mainly he said to the Chapitos, sons of Joaquín “El Chapo ” Guzmán, today a prisoner in a maximum security US prison.

The expert said that, although Caro Quintero did not return to a cartel, he had influence in the Caborca ​​Cartel, which his nephews operate mainly in Sinaloa, where they dispute the territory with the Salazar and the Chapitos.

In addition, Ambassador Salazar indicated that “the arrest of someone who for a long time terrorized Mexican citizens and is implicated in the torture and death of a DEA agent is a milestone not only for our governments, but also for the people of Mexico. our countries”.

“Mexico’s successful operation exemplifies what we can accomplish by working together to safeguard the citizens of Mexico and the United States,” he added.

On the other hand, Javier Oliva, from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), assured that the arrest of the Mexican drug lord supports the Mexican president’s argument that intelligence work is more important.

“As he was detained without firing a shot (Caro Quintero) then it supports the argument that intelligence work is more important and effective than confrontation with firearms,” ​​he said.

President López Obrador has maintained on several occasions that his security policy is based “on hugs and not bullets” against delinquency, crime and drug trafficking.

diminished bonnet

Oliva said that after 28 years in prison, Caro Quintero’s weight “in the drug environment in Mexico was quite small.”

Sumano agreed that it was a symbolic capture as he was not one of the most relevant Mexican drug traffickers today.

“He is not Mencho (leader of the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel), he is not Mayo Zambada (capo of the Sinaloa Cartel), he is not the chapitos, but he is a figure that somehow in that area of ​​Chihuahua, Sonora, Sinaloa, yes It was relevant,” he said.

In 2021, a federal court gave the Mexican drug trafficker a definitive setback and denied him an amparo against the provisional arrest warrant for extradition purposes to the United States, where he is wanted for eight crimes, including the murder of agent Camarena.

This, by determining that the so-called “narco de narcos” and his lawyers used delaying tactics that prevented the administration of justice and the extradition request since 2014.

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