Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

The False 'Gringo' Justice System: By Ríodoce

"Char" for Borderland Beat 

This article was translated and reposted from RIODOCE 

The United States extradited 'Rey' Zambada and 'Minilic' to punish them for their crimes, but instead negotiated with them and released them; in Mexico, their crimes remain unpunished.

The appearance of drug traffickers such as Jesus Reynaldo Zambada Garcia, Rey, and Damaso Lopez Serrano, the Minilic, giving interviews to broadcasters and journalists, shows how the US justice system really works, because from being among the most wanted, today both drug traffickers work and walk free in the streets of the United States, under the label of being on parole.

Luis Astorga, professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), considered that for the United States there are more important, emblematic and mediatic cases than the cases of Zambada García and Minilic, which did not represent the trophies that other drug traffickers are for that country.

"Some of those cases will never be released, others will, if after many years their information they gave was profitable; and the least will undoubtedly be released in a short time, of course, as long as their testimonies are solid to sink drug traffickers who will undoubtedly be the biggest trophies," said Astorga, referring to Joaquin, El Chapo Guzman and his sons, who, in the opinion of other analysts, represent a political medal for U.S. officials.

Two weeks ago, López Serrano gave separate interviews to journalists Anabel Hernández and Luis Chaparro, while King Zambada gave it to broadcaster Pepe Garza, during a program for his Youtube channel.


The interviews caused outrage among journalists and security analysts who criticized the U.S. government, which always sold the idea that these drug traffickers had done a lot of damage and that they would be judged with the full weight of the law when they were in its power, to finally shelter them for collaborating with them, with the understanding that they would collaborate to sink drug traffickers of their own group that the government considered more emblematic.

"It is a transaction that the United States carries out with drug traffickers, and it does so because these are its rules of the game. And they are rules that the Colombians understood. Now that possibility is open to the Mexicans. Afterwards, they will see if those narcos write books, corridos and live off their royalties," said the researcher, author of El siglo de las drogas (The Century of Drugs).

Zambada García was arrested on October 19, 2008 in Mexico City, along with 15 other people. He was first prosecuted for organized crime, aggravated homicide and possession of weapons for the exclusive use of the Armed Forces. Two years later, the Fifth Court for Federal Criminal Proceedings, based in the State of Mexico, sentenced him to formal imprisonment for another trial, criminal case 180/2009 for crimes against health, stockpiling weapons and cartridges for exclusive use of the Armed Forces.

He was then incarcerated in the high security federal prison of Matamoros, Tamaulipas.

However, both processes were pending resolution, since in April 2012 he was handed over to the United States. According to the bilateral extradition treaty, Zambada García must be returned to Mexico after paying his debts with the U.S. justice system.

Even though such proceedings are pending, unofficial sources from the Attorney General's Office (FGR) stated that King Zambada does not have any arrest warrants in Mexico.

The website Búho Legal, for its part, also has no data showing charges pending against Ismael Zambada's younger brother, El Mayo Zambada, although the legal consultation site clarifies the possibility that his defense requested the judge to keep his name private.

"There are occasions when it happens, but in this case we can't know if this person's case was kept confidential, or if there was never really an accusation against him by federal authorities in the country," said a spokesperson for Búho Legal.

The Minilic case is different, because the drug trafficker is accused of being the intellectual murderer of journalist Javier Valdez Cardenas, and there is an extradition request against him that the U.S. government refuses to grant, due to the fact that Lopez Serrano continues to collaborate as an informant with the U.S. government.

They wanted to kill me

During the interview with Pepe Garza, Zambada García acknowledged having been one of the leaders of the faction commanded by his brother Ismael, but that after 12 years in prison, good behavior, and having collaborated with the U.S. government, he is now on parole "working honestly", but without specifying what he does.

"I don't want to go back to Mexico, because if I do, I would go back to the same thing. And the reality is that prison life is very hard. If someone has never lived it, they don't know what it's like. But I have, because I spent 12 years there, and I don't want to go back even one day," said Zambada García, during an interview that lasted for an hour and 20 minutes, and where he spoke about his intention to become a singer-songwriter.


Dressed in a gray Porkpie hat, a royal blue shirt and a necklace with a Santa Muerte figure hanging from it, Zambada García admitted that the night of his arrest in Mexico City, they were actually going to kill him, because after the first shots were fired by a convoy of Siedo agents trying to enter his home, he recognized Sergio Villarreal Barragán, El Grande, among the soldiers, so he quickly tried to get to safety.

"My arrest was more like an attempted homicide. They were going to kill me. They never came to identify themselves as the government, nor did they show an arrest warrant, but they came firing bullets, left and right, because what they wanted was to kill me," recalls the former drug trafficker.

He adds: "And I realized and the truth is that I acted coldly, and when I saw that Arturo (Beltrán Leyva)'s people were with them, and how could I not recognize the Grande, I quickly asked for help from the local municipal police, and that's why they didn't kill me.

Zambada Garcia's account coincides with the testimony Villarreal Barragan gave during the trial against Genaro Garcia Luna, when he details how he participated in the operation to arrest King Zambada in October 2008.

"On orders from Arturo Beltrán Leyva, I infiltrated with other hitmen, with agents of the then Deputy Attorney General's Office Specializing in Organized Crime Investigations (Siedo), to capture the brother of Ismael Zambada.

to capture Ismael Zambada's brother," said El Grande.

During that operation, in addition to King Zambada, 15 other people were also arrested, among them his son Jesús Zambada Reyes, 21, and his nephew Juan José Parra Zambada, known as Juanjo.

Finally, the King was arrested in that operation and detained in the Altiplano prison in Almoloya, and a year later he was extradited to the United States where, after agreeing to collaborate with the U.S. government, a sentence of 20 years was reduced to 12 years, thanks to good behavior and negotiations made by his lawyer with prosecutors.

But it wasn't until a couple of years ago that prison agents told him to be careful, because they had intelligence information that the former Public Security Secretary had ordered him to kill him.

"The agents told me to be careful because Genaro had sent to kill me. It is difficult to know if that was true or not, since those who really know is the government. But they told me not to worry, because everything would be fine. Maybe they told me that so I wouldn't get scared," recalled El Rey.

Eventually, Zambada Garcia testified against Garcia Luna, and his testimony would have contributed to putting the former security secretary in prison for life.

According to El Rey, the formula to stay out of the spotlight was to keep a low profile, for which he had to change his name, a name, he explains, that he suddenly came up with.

"Everything I did was under that name, and I ended up being that name. I had a passport with that name, a visa, border crossing, so I could enter the United States whenever I wanted, and I traveled through Europe and South America. That's why, when I was captured, I (as Jesús Reynaldo Zambada García) didn't even have a traffic violation," said the drug trafficker.

Article published on November 12, 2023 in the 1085 edition of the weekly Ríodoce.

Source: RIODOCE 


  1. El rey was compadres with amado carrillo

    1. Amado, chapo, rey, mayo and all of them fools were a bunch of chomos

    2. Yup that's wat I said. No coincidence when carrillos took over juarez organization the hunt for women began. Chapo n mayo always tried using the Robin hood tactic but they were chomos too

    3. @ Right on, the CD Juarez killings in the 1990’s were rumored to be the work of Amado Carrillo, but they blamed that alcoholic Egyptian chemist engineer Abdul Sharif and some other paisa that lived in El Paso

    4. Amado worked for Mayo… read Vicente’s book…

    5. 7:42
      That's what Vicente is claiming but other sources say Mayo was under Amado. Who knows.

    6. 7:42 ACF worked for MIZG? LOL. Some revisionist history by a USA cooperator. Cartel De Juárez
      1: ACF
      2: JJEM
      The rest were either lieutenants or operators of them.

    7. @129 & @342 — do your research… Mayo was pushing dope since the 70s and got into the trade do this father + uncles..

      I know infobae are widely disliked but this is actually a great article again describing the connection between Mayo and his earliest connections/start into the game.. all way before Amado.

      Don’t believe the stupid “worth $25billion” hype either; this myth has been said for decades now and there is no actual source or any details proving Amado’s fortunes…

    8. 3:58

      Lack of source is not proof to the contrary. I think the 25 billion is not exact but pretty accurate.

  2. Mayito Zambada walking free with Witness protection guards, also Carlos Lehder for snitching on Noriega. Will Osiel Cardenas take the Witness protection in the states. He snitched on everyone for the 20 years, unlike his predecessor who kept his mouth shut.

    1. Mayito is not in witness protection.

    2. I can almost guarantee you all the zambadas that were extradited are chillin with new identites in the US. If not they woulda got doxed by someone already. You can pay for peoples info nowadays so theyre more than like chillin with new identities

    3. Carlos Lehder isnt in witsec or prison anymore. They wanted to get rid of him and deported him to Germany. So he is free with new name, new papers and the full benefit of health insurance.

    4. @843 — of course he is… a major witness informant who testified against Chapo and the cartel not under protection? Lol

    5. 7:43
      He is not. If he was you would not have seen pictures of him free. Witness protection is extremely strict.

    6. @617 — there was literally one photo/video and we have no idea who took or released it… but clearly it was done without his permission right?

      You think he would walk freely around a theme park in CA without some kind of protection??

    7. 3:52
      That's not how witness protection works.

    8. 8:13
      In witness protection you DO NOT have guards. That is only provided for court. You guys watch too many movies.

  3. Watcha Cholo Rey, guas jappening...

  4. There wont ever b another Juam Garcia Abrego. He was 100 % didnt snitch on no one. ..

    1. 8:22 mochomo didn't either

    2. Maybe not, but you gotta consider it was very different times. U.S wasn't onto trafficking like it is now. Flight Stuart's were moving shit. Even back in the 90's you had old ladies saram wrapping drugs to their bodies. My pops crossed the border multiple times back in the 60's and didn't have to pay for a coyote. I'm assuming it was a lot easier when trafficking was relatively new.

    3. Juan García Ábrego "El Baron del Golfo" was a Boss when only 3 cartels dominated in México: CDG, CDJ and Cartel de TJ in the 90's.

    4. Jga was only caught after carlos wasnt president anymore
      Even Calderoni his compadre didnt arrest him during this era
      Didnt make any sense to get him while mr 10% was getting his cut

      Plus Carlos dad and JNG went way back

      I think his biggest mistake was getting cocky with his law enforcement contacts on US side
      That scared the gringos/alerted them too much
      Manhunt from then on

    5. More like there will never be another Pablo Acosta… they betrayed him and served him up big time…

      The first real boss of Ojinaga AND Juarez.

    6. 10:38, you mean stewardess’s aka flight attendants right? Otherwise I have no clue what you mean by flight Stuart’s we’re moving shit. Maybe you meant stewards, either way, flight crew are still getting popped all over the place for moving contraband. They still don’t get checked like passengers do.

    7. Mini Lic magically patriotic as soon as he is safely in the states. Funny seeing him wear a flag hat after smuggling tons to the US, maybe he is so patriotic bc he made so much feria, or he just wants to blend in like mayito, just another chubby American distracted by nonsense like sea world, nothing to see here.

    8. Mochomo wanted to snitch but he couldn't because he wasn't offered a deal (he actually did snitch in the past on some Colombians).

  5. I was there during that raid of course I knew some of my colleagues were working for the Beltran levyas every agent Is working for someone I helped familia Michoacán chango for years giving him a call anytime a operation would form and now my son is doing the same for el pez and el fresa

  6. Makes sense that the US justice system takes advantage of Sinaloan snitch gene in the DNA. They use it to their advantage. Nobody believes Mexico is mad and wants justice.

  7. @11:56 those were the good ol glory days when pure Colombian heroin and weed and cocaine was King 😂 my my how times have changed - nothing but dirty hielo and fetty 👌🏽 mmmmmm yummy

    1. Quality is always available for the right price.

  8. Love Rio Doce and they have some very valid criticisms here, but countering their points,

    Rey Zambada got his time cut for testifying againt Chapo Guzman and in the Genaro Garcia Luna case, basically front lining the case

    Mini Lic got a reduction for essentially giving up Los Chapitos, they most wanted drug kingpins in the world, probably. Certainly the highest value targets to the US.

    Sajid gave up Quintero.

    The Justice Department in the US has it's own motives and flaws, and whatever, but what was going to happen to Rey Zambada in Mexico? He was going to be released, not that is matters to me, I know the deal, but Rio Doce not acknowledging that is kind of a glaring misstep.

  9. This snichloas to famous

  10. It's Called Survival... And only the strong Survive

  11. Puro dedo los de Sinaloa, junto con El Viejo del sombrero Mayocagada


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