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

MEXICO / 23 SEP 2020

The United States is calling for authorities in Mexico to intensify their crack down on the country’s organized crime groups,…

EL CHAPO / 21 MAR 2012

As the Mexican government claims to be getting closer to capturing the country’s most notorious drug lord, an ex-president claims…

INFOGRAPHICS / 19 JUL 2012

A map of the relationships of Enrique Peña Nieto, who is set to win Mexico's presidential election on Sunday, is…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Guatemala Social Insecurity Investigation Makes Front Page News

10 DEC 2021

InSight Crime’s latest investigation into a case of corruption within Guatemala's social security agency linked to the deaths of patients with kidney disease made waves in…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela El Dorado Investigation Makes Headlines

3 DEC 2021

InSight Crime's investigation into the trafficking of illegal gold in Venezuela's Amazon region generated impact on both social media and in the press. Besides being republished and mentioned by several…

THE ORGANIZATION

Gender and Investigative Techniques Focus of Workshops

26 NOV 2021

On November 23-24, InSight Crime conducted a workshop called “How to Cover Organized Crime: Investigation Techniques and A Focus on Gender.” The session convened reporters and investigators from a dozen…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Names Two New Board Members

19 NOV 2021

In recent weeks, InSight Crime added two new members to its board. Joy Olson is the former executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America…

THE ORGANIZATION

Senate Commission in Paraguay Cites InSight Crime

12 NOV 2021

InSight Crime’s reporting and investigations often reach the desks of diplomats, security officials and politicians. The latest example occurred in late October during a commission of Paraguay's Senate that tackled…