“What I owed, I already paid”, wrote the former leader of the extinct Guadalajara Cartel in a letter signed by him and which his lawyers delivered to the President´s particular secretary office this past November 19th, it was also addressed to the head of the Interior Ministry, Miguel Angel Osorio Chong, and to the one in charge of re-capturing him, Jesus Murillo Karam, Mexico´s Attorney General.
Considered a wanted man since this past November 6th, when four ministers of the Justice Supreme Court reversed the protection which helped him get out of jail given to him three months before , Caro Quintero also asked for the Judicial Power not to concede to “the pressures and orders” from Washington, after they “obeyed” and reverted his liberation order.
Caro Quintero –via his legal representatives- sent a copy of his letter to PROCESO along with the complaint he issued last week to the National Human Rights Commission for the persecution he claims he and his family have been victim of by Mexican authorities “instigated by the United States”, after his release from prison this past August 9th, in a case that marked the first year of Enrique Peña Nieto´s presidency.
That day, at the early morning, the former drug lord left prison in companion of part of his legal team without any Mexican Government member or representative of the United States doing anything to stop him, this even after authorities from both countries knew about his release several weeks before the Mexican Justice System let him go.
His release caused a supposed surprise on both governments, but above everything else, caused doubts on Enrique Camarena´s murder official version given by both Mexico and the United States.
|Enrique "Kiki" Camarena at a marijuana plantation.|
At 61 years old, Caro Quintero knows he would be the rest of his life in prison if he is extradited to the United States, practically guarantying the silence he kept for the last 29 years on the case that sent him to prison. If he is given to the US, they won´t charge him with Camarena´s murder –he was already charged in Mexico-, he would however be charge with drug trafficking and money laundering.
“This are crimes I did not commit, much less my family”, wrote the former drug lord in his letter to Peña Nieto, which the Republic´s General Attorney´s Office receive on November 20th, the Interior Ministry received it one day later.
In his letter, Caro Quintero asks: “How is it possible that the Country capable enough to spy on presidents and presidential candidates and to know what they do, for 28 years and 5 months I spent in prison didn´t charge any crime against my family? Why did they wait until my release was near to start the hunting against my alleged drug dealers and money launderers?”
Last June, the United States Government added four of Caro´s offspring, his wife and a daughter-in-law to their list of forbidden individuals and entities to which any citizen can do business with.
“After my release from prison”, wrote Caro Quintero, there was a resurgence “with great notoriety of a persecution against me and members of mi family by the United States of North America”. They pressured in such a way the press “that they got the Nation´s Justice Supreme Court to revert the decision” of the Third Collegiate Court in Criminal Matters based in the state of Jalisco.
In fact, on November 6, with 4 votes to 1, the Supreme Court reverted the resolution which acquitted him of some crimes, took others as served-drug trafficking as an example- and ordered his release from the double homicide, considering that these crimes should be tried by a local court, not a federal one, as it was done.
The Supreme Court ruled otherwise. They recognized Camarena as a “Intergovernmental agent” and “internationally protected”, and considered the Mexican pilot who died along Camarena as in function, which justified the Federal Justice intervention on the case. In consequence it ordered a new sentence against Caro Quintero. The original sentence was for 40 years, according to the legislation valid at the time. Since they didn´t mention the other resolutions made by the Court of appeals, they will remain, in other words, the former drug lord is only wanted in Mexico for the homicides of Camarena and Zavala.
He also has to fight the extradition request by the United States. In case of an arrest, the process for his delivery to the US could take 1 or 2 years. Unlike his first arrest in 1985, this time around Washington did make a formal request to the Mexican government for his extradition. In 1985, once Caro was apprehended, they did nothing to take him to the US. They didn´t believe Caro would be set free before his full sentence was served.
Even though the government of Peña Nieto favors extradition, Caro Quintero is asking, as president of all Mexican –“In which I´m included”-, to make sure all the legal processes against him are conducted in compliance with the law.
“Respecting my constitutional and above all, human guarantees, and not just because he has this or that last name justice has to be any different for me”.
He adds: “My only petition…is for my file to be analyzed with justice, a trial where last names have no weight against legality. I ask for a fair trial…neither to yield to political pressures, nor a process which only competes to the Judicial Power be resolved by polititians”.
He tells his Federal government interlocutors: “It´s not fair, Sirs, that Mexican justice be subdued to the orders the United States wished to impose over a Mexican who only wishes for peace and tranquility for himself, and for his family”.
This past August, the United States government requested to Peña Nieto´s government for the former leader of the Guadalajara Cartel, this by a petition of a Federal Court in California where he is accused of drug trafficking and money laundering. “The conducts they try to charge me with are totally false. They only want his vengeance against me to be felt, using my family and discrediting Mexico, its laws, and pretending to overwhelm our sovereignty with the only ever present intention of feeling superior”, he adds, “I´ve always said…that I had a debt with both society and law (and) it has been settled.”
“The justice the US is asking for his compatriot has already been paid in Mexico under the terms they imposed me”, he tells Peña Nieto in allusion to the 28 years and 5 months he spent in prison, 18 of those in maximum security federal prisons.
Since international laws forbid judging someone twice for the same crime, now the US government insists “on charging me with new criminal conducts”, the former drug lord writes: “Incredibly (they charge) not only me, but also my mother, wife and kids”. According to Caro Quintero, “none of them has ever committed any crime, them being proven humble and decent people”.
Letter to the Ombudsman
In his complaint filed to the Human Rights National Commission, he states the Mexican government has acted against him and his people yielding to pressures of the United States. PGR, the Army, Marines, Interpol and the DEA offices in Mexico, he adds, have “harassed and pursued” him along with his family, “who has been a victim of aggressions and intimidation without any investigation, presentation or arrest warrant”.
He is accusing those institutions of physically assaulting those close to him during raids to their homes. He particularly accuses the Federal Attorney General´s office of “socially and publicly insulting them” when they mention them in several press releases as criminals responsible of several crimes, “of making operations with illegal money”, a situation “of which there is no clear and direct accusation, since it has never been proven”.
According to the former drug trafficker, “several rights and benefits” have been cancelled by “harassment and threats done by State organisms”.
“There´s an obvious hunt against everyone who has any family relationship, friendship or who even works for me”, this in reference to his lawyer Juvencio Ignacio Gonzalez Parada, who achieved his release.
In his complaint addressed to the Human Rights National Commission, Raul Plascencia Villanueva, he insists his debt with the Mexican State has been settled. “However…It has been my last name the reason of constant stalking by the Mexican authorities, conspiring against me urged by the American government”.
Mexican Authorities, he claims, want to transfer an imposed sentence to “innocent people, without giving them an opportunity to be heard and beat” in a trial. He claims those are violations against human rights –like the presumption of innocence- which are protected both nationally and internationally, among others, by the International Pact of Civil and Politic Rights and by the American Convention on Human Rights or San Jose Pact.
My name notwithstanding, this violations cant remain unpunished nor be taken as a vengeance or payback against me or my family, because if I had a debt with the State and society, I have paid it”, he states.