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

FEATURED / 15 MAR 2022

The $215,520 began its journey south in the parking lot of a Meijer grocery store in Louisville, Kentucky, a 19-hour…

COLOMBIA / 29 OCT 2021

The fascination with “narco-culture” has taken over the entertainment and media industries: documentaries, TV shows, movies, podcasts, even a dedicated…

GULF CARTEL / 30 AUG 2021

It was a Saturday, around 12:30 p.m. local time, when a caravan of three vehicles loaded with well-armed men and…

About InSight Crime

WORK WITH US

Open Position: Full Stack WordPress Developer

28 NOV 2022

As Full Stack WordPress Developer You Will: Work collaboratively with other developers and designers to maintain and improve organizational standards.Demonstrate a high level of attention to detail, and implement best…

THE ORGANIZATION

Join Us This #GivingTuesday in Exposing Organized Crime

24 NOV 2022

For over twelve years, InSight Crime has contributed to the global dialogue on organized crime and corruption. Our work has provided policymakers, analysts, academics, journalists, and the general public with…

THE ORGANIZATION

Like Crime, Our Coverage Knows No Borders

18 NOV 2022

The nature of global organized crime means that while InSight Crime focuses on Latin America, we also follow criminal dynamics worldwide. InSight Crime investigator Alessandro Ford covers the connections between Latin American and European…

THE ORGANIZATION

Using Data to Expose Crime

11 NOV 2022

Co-director Jeremy McDermott made a virtual presentation at a conference hosted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The ‘Sixth International Conference on Governance, Crime, and Justice…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime ON AIR

4 NOV 2022

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley was interviewed for the podcast The Rosenberg Case: A Tale of Murder, Corruption, and Conspiracy in Guatemala, which explores the potential involvement of then president, Álvaro Colom,…