Mexico arrests Caro Quintero, drug lord convicted in death of DEA special agent Enrique ‘Kiki’ Camarena in 1985 KossyDerrickBlog KossyDerrickEnt

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Friday, July 15, 2022

Mexico arrests Caro Quintero, drug lord convicted in death of DEA special agent Enrique ‘Kiki’ Camarena in 1985

Infamous drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero, who was behind the killing of a U.S. DEA agent in 1985, was captured Friday by Mexican forces nearly a decade after walking out of a Mexican prison and returning to drug trafficking, according to the Mexico's navy.

Caro Quintero was arrested after a search dog named “Max” found him hiding in brush in the town of San Simon in Sinaloa state during a joint operation by the navy and Attorney General's Office, a navy statement said. The site was in the mountains near Sinaloa's border with the northern border state of Chihuahua.

Mexico’s national arrest registry listed the time of Caro Quintero’s arrest as around midday. There were two pending arrest orders for him as well as an extradition request from the U.S. government.

“There are hundreds of [DEA] agents that went to Mexico to defend the national security of this country, but also to bring RCQ to justice,” said Terry Cole, a retired DEA agent who served in Mexico.

After Caro Quintero was released in 2013, Mexico issued a new arrest warrant for him.

American authorities had offered a $20 million award for information leading to Caro Quintero’s arrest, and he was on the FBI and DEA lists of most wanted fugitives. His detention Friday came days after President Andrés Manuel López Obrador met President Biden at the White House. Mexico has recently sharply stepped up its anti-drug efforts, particularly against producers of the deadly opioid fentanyl.

A navy Blackhawk helicopter carrying 15 people crashed near the coastal city of Los Mochis during the operation, killing 14 of those aboard, the navy statement said. The available information indicated it suffered an "accident," the cause of which had not yet been determined, the statement said.

Caro Quintero had walked free in 2013 after 28 years in prison when a court overturned his 40-year sentence for the 1985 kidnapping and killing of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena. The brutal murder marked a low point in U.S.-Mexico relations.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has maintained that he is not interested in detaining drug lords and prefers to avoid violence.

But the arrest came just days after López Obrador met with U.S. President Joe Biden in the White House.

There had been tensions between the Mexican government and the DEA after Mexico enacted a law limiting the U.S. agency's operations. But recently, the DEA's new head in Mexico received a visa, which the U.S. officials marked as a sign of progress in the relationship.

Shortly before Caro Quintero's arrest Friday, U.S. Ambassador Ken Salazar told a gathering of reporters there had been progress in the security relationship.

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