Top Cocaine Smuggler May Be Dead

SUNDAY, JULY 6, 1997

Amado Carrillo Fuentes, reputed to be Mexico’s most notorious drug trafficker and one of the first to use jetliners to smuggle cocaine, has died, local media said Saturday.

Carrillo’s mother, Aurora Fuentes de Carrillo, has confirmed the death, the national Televisa television network said. Quoting unnamed family members, the newspaper Noroeste de Culiacan also reported the death.

However the federal attorney general’s office in Mexico issued a communique saying it could not confirm the death and was investigating.

Carrillo, 41, reportedly heads a drug operation based in Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Texas. He is known as “Lord of the Skies” for his use of old jetliners to fly Colombian cocaine into Mexico, where it is then transferred to the United States.

If the reports are true, the drug lord’s death could set off a turf war for control of cocaine smuggling operations along Mexico’s 2,000-mile border with the United States.

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