Interview of Rafael Caro Quintero (CQ) by Anabel Hernandez (AH)/div>
Exclusive Borderland Beat Translation
AH: In October of 2017, the DEA issued a report titled “National Drug Threat Assessment” that states that after the arrest and extradition of Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman and the arrest of Damaso Lopez Nunez, Ismael “Mayo” Zambada and you, Rafael Caro Quintero, are now the leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel, also known as the Pacific Cartel.
CQ: I don’t belong to any cartel and, as I have previously told you, I am not going back into drug trafficking.
AH: So, what have you been doing, Mr. Caro Quintero?
CQ: What do you mean?
AH: What are your current activities?
CQ: Nothing. Just living right for something I already paid for.
AH: What do you do to survive?
CQ: I’ll show up wherever they will feed me. I have no money, so I’m always struggling to survive.
AH: I’ll ask you again: Are you now one of the leaders of the Pacific Cartel?
CQ: Whoever is saying that is lying, and they need to prove it, and the Mexican government knows that I am speaking the truth.
AH: Even of the DEA says that you now have equal authority as Mayo Zambada.
CQ: The DEA is lying.
AH: (The DEA) says that both of you are trafficking drugs through Phoenix and distributing them to other parts of the United States.
CQ: Whoever says that is lying! Whoever says that is lying! I don’t care who is saying that, they’re lying. I don’t care who it is.
AH: What would be the reason for these lies? Why would the DEA have published a report like this, putting your photograph there…
CQ: I don’t know, I don’t know! I am not the leader of any cartel.
AH: Here’s the report accusing you…
CQ: Yes, yes…but I have not gone back into drug trafficking and I am never going back. And those things they are saying, whoever is saying that, they’re lying. Whether it’s Sajid (Quintero, RCQ's cousin use this link to read J's post about him and this link), or whoever is telling the DEA that, they are lying.
AH: Why do you think they’re accusing you, what would be the reason for that?
CQ: This is something I do not understand, I don’t understand.
AH: There’s information that you are smuggling cocaine from Colombia to the U.S. through Guatemala, and that you smuggle it to the U.S. via Sonora and take it to Chicago.
CQ: I would ask the DEA to be more careful. They are lies. The Mexican government, too. If they can show evidence of these things, I’ll turn myself in. But I’m not going to turn myself in as an informant. I’m going to surrender like a man, like what I am, to show my face for something I did But I’m never going to turn myself in because I haven’t done anything.
AH: In August of 2016, in September, October, in different parts of Mexico, for example, in the State of Chihuahua, there were “mantas” and posters being put up that said that you and Chapo were local (crime) bosses.
CQ: Look, they say that I’m working in several states, a lot of people are using my name. I don’t know the majority of these people. Then, what do you want me to do? I am not working, I want to make that very clear. I was a drug trafficker 23 years ago, but I am no longer one, and I’ll never be one again. If other people use my name, what can I do to shut them up? I cannot go out here and tell them, “Shut up, don’t use my name.” Or should I start killing people to shut them up?
(Screen script: How does the DEA’s most wanted fugitive live?)
AH: After the DEA report in October, after this past November, the Director of the Federal Police, Manelich Castilla, said that the capture of Rafael Caro Quintero was a priority for the Mexican government. Are they looking for you, Rafael?
CQ: Well, if you’re asking me whether they are pursuing me, yes they are.
AH: Have there been operations organized against you?
CQ: Yes, of course. And very heavy operations.
AH: What do you mean? What has happened?
CQ: Very heavy operations by all the governments. So I ask myself, when will it end? When? And why?
AH: What has happened in these operations?
CQ: Well, all sorts of atrocities, persecution, a lot of pain, many things. Now, I would tell that person who is saying those things about me to be more careful.
AH: Are they wasting their time looking for the wrong man?
CQ: Not the wrong man, because that is my name and I exist. But I am not a drug trafficker. How can I explain to them? How? I am not a drug trafficker. I was one and I paid for that. Leave me alone.
AH: Rafael, what does it feel like to be the Number 1 fugitive of the DEA? How do you live when you’re the man most wanted by the DEA, the most important anti-drug agency…?
CQ: I want them to leave me alone, I already paid, that’s what I would tell them.
AH: How do you live, Rafael?
CQ: A very difficult situation, without a family, without anything. I have a hard time with everything.
AH: For example, during these holidays, like Christmas, which just ended, how…?
CQ: My mother is in the hospital with pneumonia, I’m not able to call her, to talk to her, to do anything. It’s sad.
AH: Your wife, Diana. Your son?
CQ: I don’t know anything about them.
AH: You can’t see them?
CQ: No, I cannot see them.
AH: Your other relatives, your other children?
CQ: I can’t see them, either.
AH: How did you get by during the holidays, Christmas and New Year’s?
CQ: It was hard, very hard.
CQ: Alone, alone.
(Screen script: Amnesty for narcos in Mexico. Next July, if he’s elected president, the leftist candidate, AMLO, has proposed amnesty for drug traffickers to put an end to drug trafficking and violence.)
AH: Do you think the leaders of the cartels would accept this? Do you think this would stop the violence here in Mexico?
CQ: Well, I could not tell you to what extent this would work, but why don’t they try it? Colombia did it. I don’t know of another country. But Colombia? Yes, they did it. I became aware of it because I was in prison and I watched it on TV. A lot of people turned themselves in. Why doesn’t Mexico try it? Not that I’m saying… I’m not anybody to give orders. I can’t say, “Do it.” Right now I’m a fugitive, unfortunately.
AH: Do you think the people in Mexico believe in your innocence?
CQ: Well, that’s their problem, not mine. I am telling the truth.
AH: Why is it important for people to believe you? Since you were released from prison you have said repeatedly that you’re innocent, that you’re not a drug trafficker. Why is it important to you for the Mexican people to believe you? Why, Rafael?
CQ: Look, what I really want is for them to leave me along. Then, if the public opinion wants to believe that I’m innocent, well, good. But if not, I respect that. They’ll believe what they want to believe. But I want them to talk to me, not to somebody else. And the Mexican government and the DEA should do a clean job.
AH: What do you want, Rafael?
CQ: For them to leave me alone and to tell the truth, don’t be lying about me. And if it’s Sajid or not, or somebody else, they are lying. I’ll say it again.
AH: And you are not the new leader of the Pacific Cartel?
CQ: No, man! I’ve never been the boss, not even in my own house! Look, it even hurts me when they say it.
AH: Does it still hurt?
CQ: Of course. I live with pain because of the injustices committed by the government, of one side or the other. But that’s the way it is, what are we going to do? ...BB2018
Note: The video we used for the translation was taken down by Youtube, due to third party complaints infringement rights against the poster . We substitute that video with this is the Proceso production which is the long version with info apart from the face to face interview.