HomeNewsBriefCaro Quintero Case Still Roiling US-Mexico Relations
BRIEF

Caro Quintero Case Still Roiling US-Mexico Relations

JUDICIAL REFORM / 11 SEP 2013 BY CHARLES PARKINSON EN

Mexico's attorney general has admitted irregularities in the early release of a major drug trafficker, but simultaneously criticized light US sentencing of Mexican criminals, suggesting there are fissures within the Mexican government over US involvement in its affairs.

Speaking on September 10 at a press conference in Washington, Mexican Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam admitted there had been "serious violations" in court proceedings which led to the early release of cartel leader Rafael Caro Quintero on August 9, reported El Diario.

According to Murillo, the Mexican government does not know where Caro Quintero is, but would have him arrested if they did.

However, in an apparent broadside against the criticism from the US authorities, Murillo highlighted the much lighter sentences Mexican traffickers receive in the United States. Seemingly referring to the 2010 sentencing of Gulf Cartel leader Osiel Cardenas-Guillen, Murillo said: "They only gave him 24 years. And not just that. They will give him consideration and benefits and he will get out much earlier."

A founder of the Guadalajara Cartel -- one of Mexico's first major drug trafficking organizations -- Caro Quintero was released after 28 years of a 40-year prison term handed to him in 1985 for the abduction, torture and murder of US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent Enrique Camarena Salazar.

InSight Crime Analysis

US officials were strongly critical of Caro Quintero's early release, which was based on a controversial decision that the Camarena murder case should have been tried at the local, rather than federal level. The Mexican government subsequently filed for Caro Quintero’s re-arrest at the behest of the US, in a seeming attempt to placate US officials.

While Murillo has admitted the dubious circumstances surrounding this early release, it appears criticism from the United States has also ruffled feathers among some within the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). Murillo's attack on the apparent US hypocrisy breaks from the damage control mission his office went on immediately following Caro Quintero's release.

Frustration may be building within the administration as the US continues to be critical of Mexico's security strategy under President Enrique Peña Nieto, and the fact that this case has drawn criticism while major Mexican drug traffickers continue to be released early by the United States is likely to be another sore point.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

METHAMPHETAMINE / 14 MAY 2012

Officials in Mexico seized another 136 tons of precursor chemicals originating from China, pointing to that country's role as a…

MEXICO / 11 NOV 2016

Mexico's fight against money laundering has been losing funds and efficiency. With the budget for these types of investigations down…

MEXICO / 7 MAY 2013

Mexico's drug war has caused a 30 percent increase in mental illness in the country's population, according to a…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Who Are Memo Fantasma and Sergio Roberto de Carvalho?

24 JUN 2022

Inside the criminal career of Memo Fantasma  In March 2020, InSight Crime revealed the identity and whereabouts of Memo Fantasma, a paramilitary commander and drug trafficker living in…

THE ORGANIZATION

Environmental and Academic Praise

17 JUN 2022

InSight Crime’s six-part series on the plunder of the Peruvian Amazon continues to inform the debate on environmental security in the region. Our Environmental Crimes Project Manager, María Fernanda Ramírez,…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Series on Plunder of Peru’s Amazon Makes Headlines

10 JUN 2022

Since launching on June 2, InSight Crime’s six-part series on environmental crime in Peru’s Amazon has been well-received. Detailing the shocking impunity enjoyed by those plundering the rainforest, the investigation…

THE ORGANIZATION

Duarte’s Death Makes Waves

3 JUN 2022

The announcement of the death of Gentil Duarte, one of the top dissident commanders of the defunct Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), continues to reverberate in Venezuela and Colombia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Cattle Trafficking Acclaim, Investigation into Peru’s Amazon 

27 MAY 2022

On May 18, InSight Crime launched its most recent investigation into cattle trafficking between Central America and Mexico. It showed precisely how beef, illicitly produced in Honduras, Guatemala…