Drug lord wanted for DEA agent's murder tells court he is broke

Fugitive cartel leader, featured in Netflix’s Narcos: Mexico tells Mexican court he’s broke so is not a flight risk as he fights his extradition to the United States for the 1985 murder of a DEA agent

  • Rafael Caro Quintero informed a Mexico City court that he has no money and is unemployed in his latest attempt to prevent an extradition to the United States
  • Quintero is wanted by the United States for drug trafficking as well as the kidnapping and murder of DEA agent Enrique Camarena in Mexico in 1985
  • Quintero, who co-founded the now defunct Guadalajara Cartel was released from prison on August 9, 2013 after a court ruled he had been improperly tried
  • The Mexican Supreme Court issued an arrest warrant five days later and he has remained on the run ever since
  • The United States is offering a $20million reward for his capture 

A former Mexican cartel leader informed a Mexico City court this week that he does not have any money and so he’s not a flight risk as he fights extradition – despite the fact he’s currently on the run.

Lawyers for Rafael Caro Quintero presented a written letter to the First Collegiate Court in Criminal Matters in which the 67-year-old argued for the postponement of any discussions related to his extradition to the United States. 

Quintero is wanted by the United States government for shipping drugs and for the assassination and kidnapping of Drug Enforcement Agency [DEA] Special Agent Enrique ‘Kiki’ Camarena in Mexico in February 1985.

Fearing his capture, he is fighting his extradition on the claims that he is unemployed and poor, and can not afford to run for much longer.

‘The named appellant alleges insolvency because he claims to be over 60 years of age, not pensioned or retired and as a well-known fact he claims is on the run from justice, which prevents him – he says – from working or carrying out any activity for which he may acquire economic resources,’ the court document said. 

Rafael Caro Quintero attempted to delay his extradition to the United States by stating in court this week that he has no money and is unemployed. The 67-year-old is wanted for the kidnapping and murder of DEA Special Agent Enrique Camarena

DEA Special Agent Enrique Camarena was found dead in Michoacán, Mexico, in March 1985 a month after the Guadalajara Cartel kidnapped and tortured him to death

The lawyers, on behalf of the fugitive drug lord, also requested the removal of Juan José Olvera López, one of the court judges that has been assigned to the extradition hearing.

The petition for Olvera López’s removal will not be heard in court until the Mexico City justice system returns to normalcy because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Quintero co-founded the now defunct Guadalajara Cartel, which was being investigated by the DEA after the federal agents tipped the Mexican military which raided a 2,500 acre marijuana farm.

The Guadalajara Cartel blamed Camarena for the bust, and decided to retaliate. 

Caro Quintero and the two other cartel leaders, Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo and Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo, kidnapped the 37-year-old Camarena in broad daylight on February 7, 1985. 

He was tortured him at a residence that belonged to Quintero. 

This undated file photo provided by Mexico’s government shows fugitive drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero. Quintero was sentenced to 40 years in prison for the murder of DEA agent Enrique Camarena but was released after 28 when a Jalisco court ruled he had been improperly tried in court. A federal court issued an arrest warrant for Quintero, who remains on the run

U.S. military personnel carry the coffin containing DEA Special Agent Enrique Camarena

Camarena’s body was found wrapped in plastic and dumped in La Angostura, a city in the state of Michoacán on March 5, 1985. 

Quintero eventually fled to Costa Rica with his girlfriend and was arrested April 4, 1985 and was later sentenced to 40 years in jail for Camarena’s murder.

On August 9, 2013, a Jalisco court ordered the release of Quintero, after he had served 28 years in prison, because he had been improperly tried for the killing of the DEA special agent. But on August 14, a federal court acted on pressure from the United States and issued a warrant for Quintero’s arrest. 

Quintero and Camarena are featured in the Netflix hit series, ‘Narco:Mexico.’ 

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