Friday, June 21, 2024

Rafael Caro Quintero’s nephew detained, to be extradited to US

The nephew of Rafael Caro Quintero was detained on Sunday and will be extradited to the United States to face trial in Arizona.

A statement from the Attorney General’s Office (FGR) said that Rodrigo Omar Páez Quintero, or “El R” as he’s also known, was arrested in Zapopan, Jalisco, a suburb of Guadalajara, by members of the FGR, Interpol and the Navy. 

Páez Quintero was found after being shot, allegedly in a gun battle with rivals from the Sinaloa Cartel. (Twitter)

The arrest of Páez Quintero was a priority for the Defense Ministry, who say he is one of the leaders of the Caborca Cartel, founded by his uncle, Rafael Caro Quintero, dubbed the “Narco of Narcos.”

Páez Quintero was reportedly found wounded in his luxurious villa in the Santa Rita neighborhood, after what authorities described as a gunfight with members of the “Los Chapitos” cell of the Sinaloa cartel, with whom Páez Quintero is said to have been in conflict. He was arrested without incident, although he had apparently been shot at least three times. 

The conflict between Los Chapitos and the Caborca Cartel has escalated since the arrest of Rafael Caro Quintero in 2022, at which point Los Chapitos attempted to expand their influence into the northern state of Sonora, controlled by the Caborca Cartel. 

Sonora is strategically important to cartels as it shares a large border with the United States, including with the city of Nogales, Arizona. According to the Mexican news publication Proceso, Los Chapitos and the Caborca Cartel have particularly been in conflict over control of the Sonora town of El Zoquete.  

Rafael Caro Quintero, who helped found the cartel, is currently being held in Toluca’s “El Altiplano” maximum-security prison. (Crisanta Espinosa Aguilar/Cuartoscuro)

Páez Quintero was personally responsible for recapturing lost territory from Los Chapitos, according to Proceso. His arrest makes him the fourth senior member of the Caborca cartel to be detained since February. 

Under Mexican law, Páez Quintero may file an objection against his extradition to the United States.

Caro Quintero himself was a founder of the defunct Guadalajara Cartel, which rose to power in the late 1970s and early ’80s. The convicted drug lord is best known for his conviction for the murder of DEA agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, and more recently, for the dramatization of his rise to power being featured in the Netflix show “Narcos: Mexico.” 

He is currently being held in “El Altiplano,” a maximum-security prison in Toluca, México state.

With reporting by Proceso and El Financiero

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