Jesus “El Rey” Zambada Garcia, brother of Sinaloa Cartel kingping Ismael Zambada Garcia, has been extradited to the United States to face drug trafficking charges.
On April 3, Zambada (pictured) was transferred from the maximum security in Matamoros, Tamaulipas to a flight bound for New York. Thanks to a July 2009 indictment issued by a New York Federal court, it is there that he will face the charge of being one of the principal members of an international cocaine trafficking ring that included his brother (alias “El Mayo”) and the Sinaloa Cartel head, Joaquin·“El Chapo” Guzman.
Mexican authorities captured Zambada in October 2008 along with 16 other people in Mexico City. At the time of his arrest, Mexico’s attorney general accused Zambada of controlling the smuggling of cocaine and methamphetamine precursor chemicals through the capital’s airport and touted him as being one of the most high-profile arrests to occur under President Felipe Calderon’s administration.
Zambada will appear before the New York court in the following days, reports El Universal.
InSight Crime Analysis
Zambada’s extradition marks the second suffered by the family in recent years after Mexico’s government detained Ismael’s son, Jesus Vicente Zambada, in March 2009 and extradited him to the US the following year to face drug trafficking charges. He is currently being held in a Michigan prison.
More importantly, it marks a growing trend under Calderon’s presidency. According to a report by El Universal last year, extraditions to the US since Calderon took office have almost tripled, with 464 suspects extradited between 2006 and August 5, 2011.
Such a dramatic increase is a mixed blessing. While extradition ensures that high-profile suspects avoid the deficiencies of Mexico’s judicial system — where impunity is thought to be around 90 percent, if not higher — thus increasing the chance they are brought to justice, this also can have the effect of leaving Mexico’s courts in a perpetual state of underdevelopment, according to some analysts.
Another potential problem with extradition is that the accused does not face charges for all the crimes they may have committed in their home country. For example, when Jesus Zambada was arrested, Mexican prosecutors stated that he was tied to a number of killings in western and central Mexico. Now that he is extradited, he will not face any charges for these homicides, thus leaving the victims’ families with no possibility of recourse through judicial proceedings.