Murderous Cartel Chief: I’m Too Old To Be Prosecuted, Please Leave Me Alone

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JP Carroll National Security & Foreign Affairs Reporter
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Former Guadalajra Cartel kingpin and former boss to the Sinaloa Cartel’s Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, Rafael Caro Quintero wants to “be left in peace,” according to an interview he gave Saturday.

Caro Quintero denied he was currently involved in drug trafficking despite his notorious past, and he also denied murdering DEA agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena in 1985. Despite Caro Quintero’s denial of responsibility in Camarena’s murder, court testimony in 1992 tells another story.

According to the account of cartel bodyguard, Rene Lopez Romero, Caro Quintero told the kidnapped DEA agent, “I told you I was going to have you in my hands, you son of a bitch.”

After the cartel chief greeted his victim, Camarena was then “pummeled and burned with cigarettes.” Lopez Romero claimed that the night Camarena was killed, he spotted a syringe being cleaned in the kitchen, which prosecutors thought was used by a cartel doctor “to revive him so that he could be tortured further,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

Caro Quintero served 28 years of a 40-year prison sentence until he was released in August 2013. The top trafficker is suspected of attempting to rebuild his former narco-empire and is thought to have been behind a 150-hitman attack on El Chapo’s mother’s home in June.

The cartel chief claimed in his interview with Proceso Saturday, “I am not at war with anyone; El Chapo and El Mayo are my friends,” he said, referring to the leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel.

Caro Quintero lucked out when a Mexican court overturned his conviction for the murder of Camarena on the technicality that, “he was improperly tried in a federal court for a crime that should have been treated as a state offense,” according to the Associated Press.

There is currently a $5 million bounty on Caro Quintero’s head in the wake of his mistaken 2013 prison release.

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