August 11, 2013 in Nation/World

Mexican leader put in bind as killer of U.S. agent freed

Tracy Wilkinson Los Angeles Times
 

MEXICO CITY – An obscure regional court may have released notorious drug kingpin Rafael Caro Quintero from prison, but the 8-month-old government of President Enrique Pena Nieto has to handle the furious fallout.

Caro Quintero, one of Mexico’s major drug cartel leaders, was freed on Friday after serving 28 years for the kidnapping, torture and murder of a U.S. narcotics agent, Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, in 1985. The court vacated his conviction and lifted what remained of a 40-year sentence, based on a technicality.

The U.S. government reacted angrily. The Drug Enforcement Administration said it was “deeply troubled” that the “mastermind” of Camarena’s murder was freed. And the U.S. Justice Department suggested it would pursue efforts to extradite Caro Quintero to the U.S.

The release of a drug trafficker who killed an American official is a tricky case for Pena Nieto, posing a hurdle to his efforts to reform the Institutional Revolutionary Party’s image.


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