MEXICO CITY -- Mexico's foreign minister said Tuesday that his government would try to reverse an appeals court ruling that led to the release of a reputed drug kingpin imprisoned for the 1985 slaying of a U.S. narcotics agent.
“The decision, in our opinion, wasn’t respectful of the legal framework,” Foreign Minister Jose Antonio Meade told reporters Tuesday, referring to the appeals ruling that led to last week’s release of alleged drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero. “We will have to find the way to reverse it.”
Caro Quintero, who is alleged to be a founder of the once-powerful Guadalajara drug cartel, walked out of a prison in the state of Jalisco on Friday after serving 28 years of a 40-year sentence for the kidnapping, torture and murder of Drug Enforcement Administration agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena.
In the wake of the high-profile slaying, U.S.-Mexico relations were severely strained. And U.S. officials were again livid last week, when they learned the surprising news of the ruling from a regional Mexican appeals tribunal that freed Caro Quintero on a technicality.
However, Meade said that both the U.S. and Mexican governments were opposed to the ruling, “and from that perspective, there’s a communion of interests, and no confrontation [with the United States],” he said, according to media reports.
The U.S. Justice Department has suggested that it would seek to extradite Caro Quintero to face charges in the United States.
On its website, the DEA lists Caro Quintero as an international fugitive, noting that he is wanted, among other things, in the kidnapping and murder of a federal agent, violent crimes in aid of racketeering, and cocaine and marijuana trafficking charges.
His whereabouts remained a mystery.