Translated by Otis B Fly-Wheel for Borderland Beat from an El Pais article
[ Subject Matter: Extradition, Mexican Cartel Capos
Recommendation: No prior subject matter knowledge required]
Reporter: Luis Pablo Beauregard
The narco trafficking violence in Jalisco has obliged the Government of Enrique Peno Nieto to re-think the extraditions of the Cartel's top Capos, after having diminished the number of arrested sent to other countries to be judged.
Arely Gomez, the Attorney General has confirmed the intention to extradite to the United States Abigael Gonzalez, the leader of Los Cuinis, one of the cells of the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion. This criminal group that challenged the State at the start of May when they brought down a helicopter occasioning the death of nine soldiers.
Gonzalez was captured on 28th of February in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, one of the bastions of the criminal group. The authorities believe that he is the principal financial operator for the Cartel in Guadalajara, the third most important city in Mexico.
"El Cuini", his nickname, is the brother in law of Nemesio Oseguera, the leader of the Nueva Generacion. In April, the Government of the United States added these criminals to the black list of the Department of Treasury. " They will send him to the United States because in Mexico he has not been accused of any crime", explained Javier Oliva, Professor at UNAM specializing in National Security. (Otis: see link to article on his extradition application).
He said that the Gomez broke one tendency of the PRI Government, that had diminished the extradition of Capos to the United States. In the first two years of the administration of Pena Nieto 133 people were extradited, according to documents from the Secretary of External Relations obtained with a transparency petition. Only 45 of those extradited North of the border were extradited for crimes against health (drug related crimes).
When Felipe Calderon commenced his war against narco trafficking he gave account of the fact that the Government needed an ally in Washington. In November of 2009 authorities of some countries celebrated a meeting to streamline the extraditions. The agreement gave results. For the end of his mandate he had extradited 498 people, duplicating the amount sent by his predecessor, Vincente Fox.
One has seen a pendular position, said Oliva. The panista Government attended very expeditiously, requests from various countries, but the return of the PRI changed the strategy. The first Attorney General of Pena Nieto, Jesus Murillo Karam, reduced the rate. In his two years he sent 128 accused to various countries, from 198 requests for extradition.
The majority of the subjects were sent to the United States, according to documents of the Attorney Generals office obtained by a petition for transparency. 44 of those were accused of crimes against health ( narco trafficking ) in United States Courts. Only one was considered a high level capo. On the 21st of November 2013 Ivan Valezquez Caballero, knows as "El Taliban" and one of the leaders of Los Zetas was handed over to the authorities in South Texas, who accused him of 47 different criminal charges. On the first day of the trial "not guilty" was declared.
Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, is the most emblematic capture of the Government of Pena Nieto. Murillo Karam said on various occasions that Mexico prepared for his extradition, which led his defense to promote several amparo's to halt the process. However to date no extradition order has been received from the United States. His presence in the country is valuable.
"In this case its the information that the criminal has that keeps him here", affirmed Oliva, but he adds that not being sent now will not prevent his extradition at a later date. The expert in security, close to the PRI, believes that the porous prison system is also to blame. The orders of the top capos in prison, given through a vertical chain of commands and transmitted to Lawyers and family visits to the prison, continue to impact the criminal world outside.
"In the past six years then tendency to send them out of the country, accelerated internal power struggles within the groups. That is what happened with the Gulf Cartel when Osiel Cardenas was extradited". His physical presence in Mexico could have had some influence over internal divisions and fractures.
Servando Gomez, "La Tuta", media leader of the Knights Templar, was arrested in late February after living several years on the run. The United States Department of Justice regards the former school teacher in its territory as a strange honor. He is the first capo to be charged with narco terrorism. Configured in 2006 and used against the Taliban and the Guerillas of FARC.
"If a petition from the Court of New York is served it will be a milestone", says Oliva. "The criminal awaits a fork in the road. The Northern route would be historic. If he stays in Mexico it would mean for the Mexican Government, information on the State with grave problems of security like Michoacán". The Attorney General Arely Gomez will decide his fate.
Original article in Spanish at El Pais