The waiting went somewhere in northern Mexico. It was an afternoon with a storm on the way. Suddenly, just like a ghost, he appears walking with relaxed pace. Dark skin and calloused hands. Under the blue cap short dyed hair. It shows a perfect and shiny teeth and thin body.
Rafael Caro Quintero is, nicknamed The Prince or Narco of Narcos. For his capture, the US government is offering a reward of 5 million dollars. And in Mexico has accused him of have been reinstated in drug trafficking and to unleash a war against the Sinaloa Cartel.
He has on his chest at least two scapulars, one of the Virgin of San Juan de los Lagos, a gift from one of its sons, and one with a blessing from his mother. Wears long-sleeved shirt, buttoned almost to the neck and jeans. On his left wrist a black dial watch. No jewelry, luxury or weapons; his bodyguard seems to be composed of only two men. His shoes are black and the soles are visibly worn. They seem the exact metaphor of someone who flees from justice for almost three years.
After 28 years in prison in August 2013 it was released from the Detention of Guadalajara by a collegiate court orders. But days after the Attorney General's Office (PGR) obtained two arrest warrants against him: one to extradite him to the United States and another to do 12 more years in prison, according to the PGR, they remain pending in Mexico.
Caro Quintero, is son of Emilio Caro Payan and Hermelinda Quintero, born in October 1952 in La Noria Ranch in Badiraguato, Sinaloa. And it was considered by the Mexican government as one of the most powerful drug traffickers in the eighties. Following the brutal murder of Enrique Camarena (agent of the US Drug Enforcement Administration, DEA) in 1985, the US government and the world turned their eyes to discover that in the Golden Triangle, at the confluence of the states of Sinaloa, Durango and Chihuahua, had emerged a new breed of capos: drug lords who, 31 years later, according to Washington, became the most powerful in the world.
On June 26, (Proceso 2069) published the official versions that ensured that Caro Quintero was behind the attack by Alfredo Beltran Guzman, the Mochomito, to the house of Consuelo Loera, mother of Joaquin El Chapo Guzman, in the hamlet of La Tuna, Badiraguato, birth place of both capos. Days later, the Mexican Army and the government of Chihuahua confirmed that version.
Following that report, signed by the author of this interview, people close to Caro Quintero contacted Proceso; the man agreed to give his version of events.
Logic dictates that a fugitive does not give interviews and specially on video. Even less if the DEA and Mexican authorities are on his heels, to the extent of being about to be capture at least three times in the last two years. However, for Caro Quintero this logic was not applied and from hiding and at one of the most acute moments of persecution, he agreed to answer all questions, to be photographed and videotaped the conversation was to be transmitted in ProcesoTV. There were no other condition other than not to disclose the place where the interview was made.
With reporter and photographer, Caro Quintero talks about the alleged war that, according to Mexican government sources, he unleashed in alliance with the Beltran Leyva and other criminal-organizations against the Sinaloa Cartel and in particular against El Chapo Guzman.
For the first time he tells how and why he began in drug trafficking and talks about the killing of Enrique Camarena and pilot Alfredo Zavala, which led to his arrest and imprisonment.
He also narrates his encounter with El Chapo Guzman during a breakfast in 2013, when both were fugitives, and his interview with the other leader of the Sinaloa cartel, Ismael El Mayo Zambada ...
"Before my arrest, we met, we were good friends," he says of the two current leaders of the Sinaloa cartel. Both "El Mayo" and Caro Quintero are currently fugitives, while "El Chapo" is held in the Cefereso number 9 in Ciudad Juarez, pending extradition to the United States.
In the eighties, Caro Quintero marked a before and after in the history of drug trafficking in Mexico.
This is Rafael Caro Quintero in his own words.
The interview takes place in a whitewashed room built in the middle of nowhere. He settles into a rickety chair. The furniture are a couple of beds and a table with an image of the Virgin of Guadalupe, accompanied by a lighted candles.
He is eager to talk. If he was worried about time, nightfall or heavy rain that broke out at the beginning of the interview, he never showed it. No food or drinks in between, not even a glass of water.
Clandestinely, after 28 years in prison and nearly three as fugitive, he breaks the silence.
THE ALLEGED WAR AGAINST 'EL CHAPO'
Following information published by this weekly, the commander of the Third Military Region, General Alfonso Duarte Mugica, and the prosecutor of Chihuahua, Jorge Gonzalez, confirmed that there are suspicions that Caro Quintero started a war against the Sinaloa cartel.
"At a national level it has been established the possibility of an invasion that could have in the State of Chihuahua one of the best known drug traffickers in the country, Rafael Caro Quintero," Gonzalez said.
According to the prosecution spokesman Eduardo Esparza, that information came from "both state and Federal Intelligence in coordination with the Army."
On Wednesday, 6, Michael Vigil, former head of DEA International Operations, told the Associated Press that the Mexican Army has information that Caro Quintero joined with members of what remains of the cartel of the Beltran Leyva brothers to take away territory from the Sinaloa Cartel.
The first question to Caro Quintero is about this accusation:
The commander of the Third Military Region, the prosecutor of Chihuahua and other authorities note that you have waged a war against the Sinaloa cartel ...
-My concern, my concern is great. I learned from the media what was said by the prosecutor of Chihuahua and what the general said. It is false information, they should clarify this situation very well, they shouldn't make statements lightly; those statements are very delicate, strong words to be used them just like that.
'You have a war against the Sinaloa cartel?
-First, I have no problems with any cartel. I do not know the Beltran Leyva family and have no problem with them. And with the Guzman family either. If they have problems, is theirs, my respects to both families, Beltran as Guzman, my respect for both families, and I do not know what was the reason that I was mention here. I'm not involved in any such problems and less involved in a war. I'm struggling to fix my problem ... Imagine, with almost 29 years in prison, would I want more trouble? I WANT PEACE
There'll be those who might think that you covets power and money generated by drug trafficking ... Could that be the reason that impelled you to start this war?
-I'm not driven nor interested in power or money, no matter how big it is.
-¿You are no longer interested?
I'm not interested to be on that picture, as they say. I want peace, I want to live in peace, want my family to live in peace. Both statements (Proceso), and the prosecutor of Chihuahua or general, is false; those are lies. Time will give me the reason. I repeat: All I seek is peace and I apologize to the Mexican people for the mistakes I made; to Camarena's family, the DEA, the US government, I apologize. I paid my fault ... I was almost 29 years in jail.
The prosecutor of Chihuahua, and forgive if I insist on this, but I would like to clarify, he told the media that he had allegedly intercepted telephone calls and messages which effectively see you as part of this war and they thought that you go fight, and invade Ciudad Juarez.
Tell him that you have recorded my voice, federal centers have my voice. It is very simple, with my voice, you ask him, "If you have the intercepted phone calls? Why not compare the voice you have and the voice that I have? '. From the time I left prison I have not made any calls, I don't use two way radio, I don't use phones. If he has those phone calls and is so sure, tell him I'll go where he wants to see the real evidence, and if the DEA or the United States Department are so confident that I'm peddling marijuana, cocaine and amphetamines, which I do not know, to show the evidence! But please stop all freeloaders, don't let them fool you. That information they are giving them is false; please verify well.
Do you think that the government of Mexico and the US are being misinformed?
-By whom? Who might be interested in affect you, to involve you on these new activities of drug trafficking or in this so called "new war"?
Well I do not know, because I'm not sure. I ONCE WAS A CRIMINAL, NOT ANYMORE ....
Do you have any enemies?
I don't see any enemies, but we can not know.
What does the government of Mexico or the United States get? What their intention might be to accuse you of an activity that, according to you, are no longer practicing?
'And I'm sure! I'm sure I'm not doing it and I will not do it! He declares angrily.
"I was a drug dealer 31 years ago, and from that moment I am telling you that when the crops from The Buffalo Ranch went down (Chihuahua, where in 1984 the Army will seized 10 thousand 900 tons of marijuana), there I ended that activity, and never exercised again and I will not do it. I stopped being a drug trafficker and I repeat to you, please leave me alone. "
It's been some time that this news is circulating. You provably have had time to think, to assimilate, why do you think they want to accused you of this?
-I do not get it. There must be some hidden interest, I do not know.
-If you can not be extradited because of the Camarena case, you think it might be this...?
-Are they looking around to see what else they find? No, I'm not gonna lie, why will I lie, I hate lies, I speak the truth, I can not assure anything on what they are doing. But what I am sure about, is that they have no evidence and have nothing to judge for.
"Now, this general says that three months ago he was informed that I am recruiting people. Not even to clear mountains, because I have no money to pay! It's an injustice, and his declarations make no sense, eh!"
"I went out of prison thru the front door, I did not escape. Do you really think I want to go back to jail, after almost 29 years I was in prison?"
"For war a lot of money is needed, you go to war with money, yes or no? And with weapons," he says.
-Do you have money?.
-I'm doing bad economically, unfortunately.
'You have men working for you?
Two boys, one drives me around on a motorcycle.
MEETING WITH GUZMAN AND ZAMBADA
A few days after his release, Caro Quintero received two unexpected visitors: Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera and Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada Garcia, the two leaders of the Sinaloa cartel. In the eighties, they were beginning in the drug trafficking world as "The Prince" (Caro Quintero) was already a legend.
Caro Quintero said that the two meetings were friendly.
'In time, Guzman Loera said he had met with you after his release in 2013. You met with Joaquin Guzman Loera?.
Yes it is true, yes.
How was this meeting?
He came to greet me, I was pleased to greet him, my respect for Loera, and as we were talking I mentioned that I did not want to know anything about illegal issues.
And how was this meeting? Was it friendly?
-Friendly, We've known each other since we were young guys, we breakfasted together and then he left.
And when you said "I want no part in this," what did he replied?
That it was fine, that it was very expensive the time I had spend in prison, and ended the conversation.
-¿Did he parted away on good terms?
Yes, yes, I said goodbye and farewell; we never saw each other again.
'And Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada you also met?
-I saw him once. Only once, and it was the same. We talked and I told him the same thing. My respects for both families, we have no relationship, they live their life and I live mine.
-¿Did he offered some support, help?
No, no, nothing, as he was also running (fugitive).
"Now that the DEA claims to know that I have always been communicating from prison with drug traffickers ... I know many people, many people know me, I sent greetings, they sent their greetings, their activities I do not know, I do not get involved and I have already said, is only that, the (DEA agents) have informants who get paid, and for money people do many barbarities. "
'You think the two of them, Guzman and Zambada, believe that you have a war against them?
No, they know for sure, they know me, we have know each other since we were young. They know I'm not at war with them I respect them as friends and also as men, and their families too, all of them; I do not want no war, I do not care about any territory, I do not want any state or borders ... Why? Because I do not work on anything, just like that.
-Do you think someone might be making things up? ...
Look, they can do it, I'm not saying that they can not do it, but you know what? I think the government can do their job and they ... a lot of people can talk, but when arrested, they have to tell the truth, and the government knows how. What do I have to do with all this?
What do you think of the attack on the house of the mother of Joaquin Guzman Loera? It was a very sensitive point, it is a thing that had never been seen, even in the worst years of war.
I saw it in the papers. That's wrong! It's an old lady and I put myself in the place of Joaquin, he is imprisoned. What would he feel to know that news, on which people went to attack his mom home? But as I say before, my respect to him, I do not know anything and they know their stuff.
By ANABEL HERNÁNDEZ
I will do an update if I get more information tomorrow. Thank you.