Convicted murdered of U.S. DEA agent remains at large months after Jalisco court freed him
The International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) today asked for public help in locating convicted murderer Rafael Caro Quintero. Interpol issued a press release at its headquarters in Lyon, France, suggesting the former boss of the defunct Guadalajara Cartel could be almost anywhere in Mexico, Central America or the Caribbean.
Caro Quintero was convicted of the brutal February 1985 torture and murder of U.S. Drug Enforcement Agent Enrique Camarena Salazar at a Guadalajara safe house. A Jalisco federal appeals court freed him in early August on a legal technicality, after he had served 28 years of a 40 year sentence. The death house on Lope de Vega.
On Nov. 6 that ruling was reversed on the government's appeal. Mexican Supreme Court orders Guadalajara Cartel drug lord back to prison. Caro Quintero is wanted on U.S. charges as well, but no one knows where he is. State Dept. puts $5 million bounty on DEA agent killer. A co-defendant who was a key operative in the Guadalajara Cartel and who was also convicted of Camarena's murder lost a similar appeal on Nov. 27, but he had never been released from custody. Mexican Supreme Court rejects appeal of co-defendant in U.S. agent's 1985 murder case.
In a surprise development, Mexico's attorney general revealed two weeks ago that Caro Quintero, 61, wrote to president Enrique Peña Nieto in November, asking that he not be turned over to the United States or prosecuted further. "I've already done my time," he argued in a letter delivered to authorities by his attorneys. Caro Quintero writes Peña Nieto, asking for protection from U.S. "vengeance."
"Any information, however insignificant it many seem, might be the the missing piece of the puzzle which helps us locate this very dangerous criminal," said Interpol today. But the organization added, "We're not asking anybody to take the matter into his own hands, just to pass along information to local or national police forces, or directly to Interpol."
Feb. 9, 2014 - Six months after he was freed from prison, there's no sign of Caro Quintero
Other MGR reports on the Caro Quintero case
Aug. 19 - PRI admin distances itself from Caro Quintero release
Aug. 23 - "Absurd and illogical," Mexico's A.G. calls court ruling which freed narco executioner
Oct. 21 - Sen. McCain demands answers on release of former Guadalajara Cartel boss
Another case Interpol is interested in: Mystery of what befell young Ukrainian couple in Yucatán backcountry remains unsolved (Oct. 21).
Here's what a typical Arraignment or First Appearance looks like in a Mexican magistrate's court - formal it's not. Caro Quintero listens to the charges against him and enters a plea in April 1985.
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