Mexican Court to Determine if Judge Who Stopped Rafael Caro Quintero’s Extradition Can Preside in His Case Again

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 “MX” for Borderland Beat

A Mexican federal court is holding a hearing to determine if judge Francisco Javier Sarabia Ascencio should participate in the extradition case of Rafael Caro Quintero, former leader of the Guadalajara Cartel.

Sarabia Ascencio has presided over his extradition case over the years and has granted him motions to prevent Mexican authorities from moving forward with his US extradition request. Caro Quintero is currently a fugitive and has issued motions through his defense team to stay in Mexico should he be arrested.

In the upcoming days, judge Juan Jose Olvera will have to define if Sarabia Ascencio should participate in the session that will determine the future of Caro Quintero.

Last year, Borderland Beat reported that Caro Quintero sent a letter to a Mexican court claiming to be poor and too old to work. He also said that Olvera was plotting against him and that he told his colleagues he would deny any legal motions his defense team brought forward.

Caro Quintero, the former leader of the Guadalajara Cartel, is wanted for the 1985 murder of US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent Enrique Camarena Salazar. In 2013, he was freed from a Mexican state jail on a legal technicality, but an arrest warrant was issued by federal authorities a few months after his release. If Caro Quintero is ever arrested in Mexico, officials say he will likely be extradited to the US.

In the US, he is wanted for kidnapping and murder of a US federal officer, as well as drug trafficking, money laundering and for leading a continuous criminal enterprise. The US government is offering a US$20 million bounty for his capture. This is the highest reward the U.S. offers for a Mexican criminal. 

Sources: Milenio; NRT Mexico; Borderland Beat archives


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