MEXICO CITY -- A fugitive drug kingpin convicted in the slaying of an American federal agent is urging Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto to resist U.S. “pressure” for his extradition and to end the manhunt pursuing him, an official said Tuesday.
Atty. Gen. Jesus Murillo Karam confirmed to reporters the existence of a letter written by Rafael Caro Quintero, who was released from prison in August after serving 28 years of a 40-year sentence for the 1985 slaying of DEA agent Enrique Camarena.
Amid outrage from American officials and families of Caro Quintero’s many victims, the Mexican Supreme Court later overturned the court decision that allowed the former capo’s release and ordered him recaptured.
Caro Quintero has not been seen since he walked out of a Guadalajara prison in the middle of the night.
Murillo did not enter into details of the letter. But the newsmagazine Proceso this week reproduced a copy of the document, dated Nov. 11 and with stamps showing it delivered to Peña Nieto’s office on Nov. 19. Proceso said it was delivered by Caro Quintero’s attorneys.
Caro Quintero argues that any debt to society that he might have had, “I have already paid.” He accuses the U.S. of pursuing “extradition tinged with revenge” by seeking his removal to California to be tried on additional drug-trafficking and money-laundering charges. He urges Peña Nieto and other top members of the government to resist those demands.
“The only thing they are trying to do is make me feel the weight of revenge, using my family and discrediting Mexico and its laws, and to subjugate our sovereignty with the only desire of feeling superior,” Caro Quintero wrote.
He complains that the U.S. is unfairly targeting his wife, children and mother, and that the charges in California are false.
The U.S. Treasury Department has put several of Caro Quintero’s family members and associates and their businesses on the so-called kingpin blacklist, which bars U.S. firms and banks from dealing with them. Washington has offered a $5-million reward for information leading to Caro Quintero's arrest.
Copies of the letter also went to Murillo and Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong.
“It is true, the letter, as it appears, was sent,” Murillo said. “The matter, as you can see from the letter itself, is a matter that should be resolved in the judicial purview, and that’s where it is.”
Camarena was killed along with his Mexican pilot while working out of the Guadalajara office of the Drug Enforcement Administration. He had made a big dent in Caro Quintero’s marijuana business when he was kidnapped, tortured and killed. Caro Quintero fled, but was captured and convicted in Mexico.
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