Monday, February 24, 2014

Former Jalisco official: Catholic cardinal murdered in Guadalajara may have been yet another El Chapo victim

Guadalajara -
Monday, May 24, 1993 was not a good day for Juan Jesús Posadas Ocampo.

An important Vatican official from Rome was due to arrive in Guadalajara that afternoon, and as the highest ranking Roman Catholic official in this city, the 66 year old Cardinal Posadas Ocampo prepared to welcome him. The cardinal, who also served as the archbishop of Mexico's second largest city, traveled to the international airport with his personal driver behind the wheel. The men pulled into a parking stall, but before they could exit the vehicle both were mowed down by a dozen or more .9mm rounds fired from AK-47s, standard issue for Mexican drug cartels. When the staccato bursts of the combat rifles ceased, several others lay dead, too.

As far as most Mexicans are concerned (over 80% are nominal Catholics), the investigation of the unprecedented murder of a Catholic cardinal in the most public of places has been a cover up from the outset. "Conspiracy" cardinal resigns; served as archbishop of Guadalajara for 17 years. The Vatican, not accustomed to having Princes of the Church executed in broad daylight, agrees. The official position of Mexican prosecutors has been and still remains that Cardinal Posadas Ocampo was caught in the crossfire between two cartels, whose members just happened to be at the airport preparing for combat at the same time he was. Few here believe that.

On April 23, 2009, the Houston Chronicle filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the U.S. government, seeking documents which the Drug Enforcement Administration or other federal law enforcement agencies might have concerning the cardinal's brutal murder. Suffice it to say the feds' reply was a bit tardy.

In a December 2012 response to the FOIA request, a Defense Intelligence Agency staffer notified the Chronicle that most of its application was denied because the information sought was classified. But in the very few paragraphs of intelligence the U.S. did hand over, the government blamed Posadas Ocampo's murder on the then Tijuana based Arellano-Félix cartel, which has been largely prosecuted out of existence. The U.S. said Arellano sicarios - professional executioners on the company payroll - mistook the cardinal for Sinaloa Cartel boss Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán Loera, who was captured by Mexican marines last week in Mazatlán, Sinaloa. Their assignment that day was to eliminate Shorty from the narcotics trafficking game.

Not everybody accepts that story, either. Today a former high ranking Jalisco official who once served as the state's executive secretary, Fernando Guzmán Pérez Peláez (no relation to the Sinaloa capo himself, of course), said El Chapo should be carefully questioned by Mexican prosecutors concerning Cardinal Posadas Ocampo's murder. He did not elaborate on his allegations, but the clear implication was that far from being the intended target that May afternoon in 1993, Guzmán was the one who set the events in motion.

Pérez Peláez's demand will likely go nowhere, in a nation where most believe the horrific execution of a beloved and respected voice of the Church will forever remain unsolved. There are far too many who don't want it solved, they insist.

Feb. 28 - Today another former archbishop of Guadalajara, Cardinal Juan Sandoval Íñiguez, who succeeded Cardinal Posadas Ocampo, charged that his predecessor was murdered not by drug traffickers or cartel gunmen, but by Mexico's Federal Police. It has long been Sandoval's contention that high ranking government officials of that era were working closely with narcotics traffickers, and when Posadas Ocampo directly confronted them and demanded they stop, a decision was made by officials to eliminate him. The Sinaloa and Arellano-Félix cartels were just the scapegoats, Cardinal Sandoval told the Milenio news network.

Mar. 3, 2014 - Mexican Church has harsh words for government over El Chapo Guzmán's capture, and official corruption
July 22, 2011 - Mexican Cardinal urged U.S. to "stop the leftist candidates"

© MGR 2014. All rights reserved. This article may be cited or briefly quoted with proper attribution or a hyperlink, but not reproduced without permission.

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