Mexico, US says they’re working to jail drug lord

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican and U.S. officials say they’re working to put a freed drug lord back behind bars although there is no sign the U.S. has taken formal legal steps to seize Rafael Caro Quintero.

Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs Jose Antonio Meade told reporters Tuesday that Mexican officials are seeking to reverse an appeals court’s decision last week that freed Caro Quintero for purported procedural errors in the original prosecution.

Caro Quintero was 28 years into a 40-year sentence for helping orchestrate the 1985 killing of Drug Enforcement Administration agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena. He has disappeared from the public eye since his release.

A U.S. law-enforcement official familiar with the case said the Obama administration believes that the Mexican federal government was blindsided by the decision and that there was no complicity on the part of high-ranking officials in Mexico City.

Mexico is actively looking for Caro Quintero with U.S. help, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the new investigation.

Caro Quintero remained on the DEA’s most-wanted list during his jail term, but Mexican Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam told reporters that there was no U.S. request for his extradition pending at the moment the prisoner was freed.

Murillo Karam said he wasn’t sure if the U.S. had filed such a request since Caro Quintero’s release Friday. U.S. officials declined to comment on what action they might have taken.

The attorney general said the U.S. would have to file charges separate from those in the Camarena murder case that the Mexican court overturned.

Caro Quintero walked free after a three-judge federal appeals court in the western state of Jalisco overturned his sentence in Camarena’s kidnapping, torture and murder. The panel ordered Caro Quintero’s immediate release on procedural grounds, saying he should have been tried in a state court instead of federal court.

“We’ll have to find a way to reverse the decision,” Meade said. “We’re going to use every tool that we have at our disposal.”

Murillo Karam has said the judges should have referred the case to another court instead of freeing Caro Quintero in the middle of the night with no public notification.

U.S. officials say they had no notice of the court decision, and members of Congress have called it a setback to U.S.-Mexican law-enforcement cooperation.

WKBN 27 First News provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. No links will be permitted. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s