Rafael Caro Quintero, known as the “narco of drug traffickers,” is considered by Mexican authorities to be the founder of the Guadalajara cartel. They accuse him of trafficking methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine and marijuana.
Caro Quintero, whose exact age is not known but is believed to be in his 60s, is wanted by US authorities for allegedly kidnapping and conspiring to murder Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent Enrique Camarena Salazar in 1985.
Camarena Salazar was kidnapped, tortured and murdered in retaliation for a raid in 1984 of Caro Quintero’s 2,500-acre marijuana farm by Mexican authorities, according to the DEA. The events were serialized in the Netflix drama “Narcos: Mexico.”
Caro Quintero spent 28 years in prison in Mexico for his role in the murder before he was released on a technicality in 2013. The Mexican Supreme Court later overturned the decision that freed him.
The fugitive returned to drug trafficking as a senior leader of the Sinaloa cartel, according to the FBI.
US Attorney General Merrick Garland said Friday the United States will seek immediate extradition of Caro Quintero so he can be tried “in the very justice system (DEA) Special Agent Camarena died defending.”
“There is no hiding place for anyone who kidnaps, tortures, and murders American law enforcement,” Garland said.
Caro Quintero has previously said attempts to arrest him were “misplaced vengeance” — “conveniently rewriting history,” according to the DEA.
In 2018, US authorities announced a $20 million reward for Caro Quintero. Then-FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich told a news conference at the time that Caro Quintero is “considered one of the Mexican godfathers of drug trafficking.”
Additional reporting by CNN’s Josh Campbell.
July 16, 2022 at 10:40AM