Diana Espinoza Aguilar, 45, is originally from Matachi, Chihuahua, she has a figure that, wherever she goes, she attracts people attention. But since May she attracted the attention of someone who keeps her awake: the United States Department of the Treasury announced her name and her picture, and accused her of being a drug trafficker and facilitating illegally economic resources to her boyfriend, Rafael Caro Quintero , one of the most wanted by the DEA.
In an interview with Proceso, Espinoza, the girlfriend of Caro Quintero for six years now speaks for the first time of her relationship with him. She also explains the legal strategy that they are working on to stop being a fugitive and responds to accusations of money laundering.
"I am innocent, I have absolutely nothing to do with what they are telling the media: that I'm a drug dealer, a money launderer for Rafael Caro Quintero ... I'm his wife, I am the mother of his child," she says.
Although Washington accuses him of having turned to drug trafficking after his release in August 2013, Espinoza says Caro Quintero is no longer dedicated to that and she witnessed his transformation in prison.
She states that the governments of Mexico and the United States has orchestrated a "campaign" against him to make him look bad before the Supreme Court of Justice (SCJ), which since May have examine whether it is legal or not the extradition request by Washington against Caro Quintero for the kidnapping and murder of DEA agent Enrique Camarena which occurred in 1985 in Guadalajara.
"He is not a drug lord anymore, I can assure you that, he is not a drug dealer ... it would be illogical that he is defending himself with lawyers who are trying to complete this process to defend his rights and to be a narco trafficker at the same time ... that's not possible, it would be a total incongruity. "
The Love story
Diana met Caro Quintero in Puente Grande prison, in Jalisco, when she was jail there, accused of organized crime. And though her life seem to be the typical story of "a beauty queen and a capo" in reality is far from it.
She comes from a conservative middle class family dedicated to timber trade, which originally did not agree on her relationship with the man who was a feared drug capo in the eighties.
Diana Espinoza's nightmare began in August 2008 when in Tlalpan blvd, on Cuernavaca exit, two cars blocked the way to the vehicle in which she was traveling, with her then partner, a Colombian drug trafficker named Ever Villafane.
"My former partner had an extradition warrant and an arrest warrant. They were after him. I think they arrest me to hurt him somehow and to obtain information, I guess, "she says.
They tortured her all night. It was not until the next day when they appeared before the Public Ministry, she was accused of organized crime in the form of "operating with illegal proceeds" and possession of a firearm. According to the acquittal judgment of the Third Unitary Court for the Third Circuit on August 18, 2011, she was never charged with drug trafficking.
-When Presented to the MP, were you able to tell them about those arbitrariness?
-Yes Yes of course. And they said that's the was the system works and could not do anything. In fact I wrote a letter with (my) own handwriting to the judge, because what they were saying in that statement (the federal police) were lies and things that I do not know where they got them from.
She claims she was forced to sign a ministerial declaration incriminating herself.
'Under what circumstances?
'Under threat ... they said they were going to behead my children.
She and Villafane had two children. She was held in the women's prison in Puente Grande, Jalisco; in the same prison, but in the male side, was Caro Quintero. The one who introduced them to each other was grupera production manger Ely Castro, from the program Qué quiere la banda, de Televisa.
"She was the one who said, 'you can speak' ' You guys are alone, why don't you talk'? I was beauty queen (beauty queen of jail) at that time," she says. Her coronation was televised and that's how she and Caro Quintero met. They established communication but it was not until 2011 when she was acquitted of all charges and ordered to be release.
"I got out of prison and I went to visit him. That's how we started. We decided to have a child and then ... our son was born, a fruit of love; and, well, we have plans to start a family, plans that will begin when he fulfilled his jail time, to be together and to see our son grow. "
What drove you to have this meeting, this personal relationship with him?
Well, first of all, we were all alone and in those places, it is so lonely and cold that having someone to talk too is good. Then as I was talking to him I came to realize that he is a great human being, and not the monster that they say he is in the media, he is not that mad dog that they describe, he is an ordinary person, with feelings, someone who wants to live, wants to get ahead in life, at least for his remaining years, those long or short years, he wants to enjoy them with dignity and with his family.
-¿Who is Rafael Caro Quintero for you?
He's a gentleman, an educated man, he has worked a lot on that, he has worked to educate himself, to be a human being with principles, to be a better person, to be a different family man. I did not know the previous Rafael. I did not know him. I only know only the current Rafael, who is an educated man, formal, a gentleman, who weeps for hir children, who hopes to be with them, who hopes for a home, who longs to see his grandchildren grow up, to see his son grow up.
What about his dark legend, Diana? What about the Prince, the narco of narcos, as he was known in the eighties? What about that personality?
Nothing, nothing like that, nothing of that.
-Only there man. The myth of the narco balad, or the man of the film, it does not exist anymore; that only exists in movies and corridos. But the man is there and hopefully he'll be tried as man, not the name or the myth; it is important that justice is done, because the laws are very clear in judging the man is important, not the name or the legend.
"I am studying law and I see it's fair to give him his freedom, he has already paid, he did not escaped from a prison or been out of jail ...
"Rafael has already paid, and is waiting for his lawyers fight for his rights, he was sentenced to 40 years, which is the maximum penalty, and he did most of his sentence. The sixth article of the law clearly it states that on extradition, a man can not be judged twice for the same offense. "
It's hard to think that a man like him can change ...
No, it's not hard! After spending 28 years in prison it is not difficult to change. He had all the time to reconsider, to repent for his mistakes ...
'Did you saw that change?
-I saw it. I saw it before leaving prison.
A man on the run
After 28 years in prison, charged and sentenced to 40 for the murder of Enrique Camarena and Mexican pilot Alfredo Zavala, a court ordered the release of Caro Quintero on failures due to process.
How did you and him take the news that the order for his release was sung by the judge?
Well it was a miracle, really it was a miracle after so many years, such a long wait, a wait that had hurt him so much for 28 years. And he knew that we were waiting at home, his children, his family.
She notes that when Caro was released that night, he went to her house where she lived with her children in Guadalajara.
"He came in saying that he was happy that God had finally has done justice and we could already start a family."
What plans he had at that time?
There was plans to start a family ... to be good, to do things right, legally, without doing anything that has to do with drug trafficking or have to do with anything illegal, absolutely nothing. He does not want to know anything about illegal things.
'What are you guys were supposed to live on?
At that moment we didn't talk about it; we thought to start from scratch, we both agree on that.
The next day, in Guadalajara, Caro Quintero went to eat at his mother's house, where he met with friends. Then he went to La Noria, Badiraguato, where he was born and became a drug dealer. A few days once again, there was an arrest warrant against him for extradition to stand trial in the United States for the murder of Camarena and Zavala. And again to go back to prison and the last 12 years of his sentence.
"It was a terrible blow for us, we did not know what to do, it was very difficult, we had to separate. He went to hiding and I stay with my children. It really was very difficult because our plans went down. "
What did you said to each other when you had to go in different direction?
that we would continue fighting in according to the law, for our rights. Lawyers would be working to defend him legally, for human rights and for the laws of Mexico, to be respected.
Diana Espinoza reports that since last May the Supreme Court has to resolve once again the extradition request from the United States about Caro Quintero. In 2014 they had rejected to analyze 199/2014 under Caro Quintero, filed in 2013, and returned to an Appellate Court; but last May he returned on review under the Court, which must resolve.
Process could corroborate that information and that the Supreme Court is taking the process as confidential.
"They are fighting (the lawyers) the sixth article of extradition, which says that a person can not be tried twice for the same offense. I mentioned that some co-defendants have been released already; Don Ernesto Fonseca was not extradited, instead was giving house arrest and we are also expecting an answer for him, that the extradition will be denied because he was already sentenced in Mexico.
And concerning these years of sentence that he is supposed to finished, what is the status?
'He was giving the maximum sentenced, which is 40 years and this brings some benefits; the lawyers are fighting for those benefits.
Living with a fugitive
-The US government says that through you Rafael Caro Quintero supposedly manages his assets, money, bank accounts, companies. That is through you, as if you were some kind of middle man.
Yes I saw it, but it's impossible! I do not see him. How could I be handling his work? All of our dreams came down, all of our projects to start a life together with our son are gone because we can not achieve them with this situation.
"Right now yes, it is true, they are accusing me of drug trafficker and money laundering for Rafael Caro Quintero, which is a lie. It is a plot to discredit him with a war (against the Sinaloa Cartel), that he is the one involved to form these criminal groups, so I can become a money launderer and a drug trafficker. I've never been a drug dealer! Never! And I never will. "
Why is the US government blaming you?
I do not know what kind of informants they have, or protected witnesses, and I do not know what's going on, they are giving these statements; I dedicate myself exclusively to my children and my home.
And she denies any links with companies in Guadalajara that the Treasury Department states that serve her to launder money for Caro Quintero.
-Are these Companies say something to you ?, Do you know them ?, Are you a shareholder?
No I don't know them, and of course I am not a shareholder. I have nothing, not a single company giving to me by him.
-¿Are you Concerned?
'Of course I'm! Because it is a lie and because I feel that I may be watch, they want me entangled in something that does not exist.
-Are you afraid?
-In Mexico? Yes I'm afraid to be trap, as they did to me the last time ...
-¿The Government of Mexico has charges against you? Are you wanted? Are you bank accounts frozen over this?
In Mexico -I I have no problem with the law.
She says that she has not received any economic benefit from her relationship with Caro Quintero, and that all she got from him is a child and an engagement ring ... and 30 thousand pesos that the mother of Caro Quintero, who keeps livestock business sent her monthly for child support.
It's that rare?. Or if I may, is it imposible ...
-¿To understand it?
There'll be those who can not understand or believe in it.
Yes some will not understand, but it's true. On circumstances as the ones he has, it is impossible for him to have something material to give me. He just can't…
You said that you can not see him, how can you live as a couple, with a person in that situation ?, how do you live?
It's a sad situation because my kids have grown up alone and now once again ... sorry ... She begins to cry in tears. I do not want my son to grow up without a father. I wish for his rights to be respected, that his human rights to be respected; we file a complaint with the Inter-American International Court.
Why did you decide to give this interview?
Because I want to clarify my situation. I am innocent, I have absolutely nothing to do with what they are saying the media, that I'm a drug trafficker, money launderer for Rafael Caro Quintero. I'm his wife, I am the mother of his child.
Why are you still by his side? Why are you still by the side of Rafael Caro Quintero on this circumstance?
Because I love him, because he deserves a chance, because I know he is a human being who needs a chance to see his grandchildren, his children and to see our child grow. I've seen him cry. He wants nothing to do with drug dealing, nothing, people who really knows him know better ...