Mexico Arrests Rafael Caro-Quintero, Cartel Leader Convicted of Killing DEA Agent in 1985
Mexican President Andr√©s Manuel L√≥pez Obrador has publicly taken a softer stance against the cartels in Mexico, promising to fight poverty rather than wars with drug dealers.
Mexican authorities have arrested an infamous drug cartel leader, years after he walked out of prison, the AP reported on Friday.
Rafael Caro Quintero was convicted of kidnapping and killing DEA agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena in 1985, but an appeals court overruled his conviction and Quintero was released in 2013 before the Mexican Supreme Court reversed the decision and upheld his conviction. He had spent 28 years in prison.
Since then, according to authorities, Caro Quintero has gone back to trafficking drugs, unleashing a bloody turf war in the northern border state of Sonora.
Caro Quintero was the leader of the Guadalajara Cartel. He is blamed for the majority of marijuana, cocaine and heroin entering the United States during the late 1970s.
The AP stated there are no further details, with their source only speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the arrest. Caro Quintero was on the FBI most wanted list, with a $20 million reward hanging over his head.
According to authorities, Caro Quintero targeted Camarena because of a 1984 raid on a marijuana plantation that Caro Quintero blamed on Camarena. The DEA agent's body was found roughly a month after his disappearance, decomposing and showing signs of torture.
However, in 2013, two former DEA agents and a former CIA contract pilot claimed that the CIA was complicit in the murder of Camarena. The CIA pilot claims that he ran guns to the cartel in exchange for tons of cocaine the CIA then sold on US streets to fund Nicaraguan contras.
According to their account, Camarena had caught wind of the scheme and threatened to blow the whistle. About five months later, they say the Federal Security Directorate, who they called the CIA's eyes and ears in Mexico, and which was worked with Mexico's most powerful cartels, kidnapped Camarena.
The CIA has denied the accusations.
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