Mexico orders the arrest of Caro Quintero for extradition

The Office of the Attorney General of Mexico (PGR) has announced this Wednesday a "warrant for provisional detention with intent to extradict" Rafael Caro Quintero, known as "the drug lord of drug lords" for "various crimes levied against him by the U.S. District Court of California." The historic Mexican boss co-founded the now defunct Guadalajara cartel along with Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo and Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo. Caro Quintero left prison last Friday after spending 28 years behind bars for the kidnapping and murder of the Drug Enforcement Administration agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena in February 1985. A Jalisco court granted safe harbor to Caro Quintero (La Noria, Sinaloa, 1952) after deciding that the defendant should not have been tried in federal court but rather before a civil one.

The Mexican Office of the Attorney General reported in a press release that the petition for provisional detention from the United States "was presented by the PGR before a federal judge which approved its execution." The Attorney General said that once Caro Quintero has been arrested the United States will have 60 days to file its official extradition request.

The release of the drug dealer on August 9th due to a "procedural error" worried the Mexican authorities and the US government. As soon as the news was announced, the DEA said that it was "deeply concerned" about the court's decision and assured that it would continue to push until the "infamous drug lord" faced charges for the crimes he committed. The organization had issued an international alert calling for Quintero's extradition in December 2012.

The "drug lord of drug lords" was detained in April 1985 in Costa Rica. In almost 30 years he has thwarted five charges for murder, organized crime, and kidnapping of 4,000 peasants who were forced to work on drug plantations and against public health. Until now the only sentence the Mexican government has made him serve out in its entirety was 15 years for marijuana trafficking.

Translation: Dyane Jean François 

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