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‘Forgotten’ US victims of Mexican drug lord want justice

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MEXICO CITY — When fugitive Eighties Mexican drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero was arrested in Mexico final week, it stirred up previous, horrible recollections for Lannie Walker, the daughter of American author John Clay Walker.

Whereas Caro Quintero was solely ever sentenced in Mexico for the killing of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena and Mexican pilot Alfredo Zavala Avelar in 1985, his gang apparently killed as many as six U.S. residents within the western metropolis of Guadalajara across the identical time.

John Clay Walker, then 36 and a author who had moved to Guadalajara to complete a e book, was one in every of them.

“We had been each very glad to listen to that (Caro Quintero) had been captured, and it additionally introduced again numerous trauma for us,” stated Lannie Walker. “My sister and I’ve misplaced virtually 40 years with our father, there’s nothing that may make up for that.”

The U.S. author and his good friend Alberto Radelat, a dental pupil from Fort Value, Texas, had walked into “The Lobster,” a high-end Guadalajara seafood restaurant, to rejoice Walker’s deliberate return to america.

They didn’t know that Caro Quintero and his companions had been holding a non-public occasion in a again room of the restaurant.

“Our father was an American citizen with no involvement within the Mexico-United States drug struggle, he was an harmless bystander that unwittingly turned caught within the crosshairs of a harmful drug cartel,” stated Lannie Walker. “They started questioning my father and Al, asking them what they knew in regards to the drug enforcement brokers in Mexico, what they knew in regards to the investigation. My father knew nothing, he was an harmless author. They tortured him with an icepick for an hour.”

Mike Vigil, the DEA’s former chief of worldwide operations, stated “Caro Quintero was a kind of people that as a result of he now had energy, he had wealth, he crossed the road many occasions when it comes to the those that he killed.”

Describing what occurred on the restaurant, Vigil stated “they appeared out and so they noticed the 2 People and so they instantly by way of their paranoia as properly thought that they had been DEA brokers. They took him into the again and stabbed to dying.”

The our bodies of Radelat and Walker had been discovered wrapped in carpet in June 1985, almost 5 months after they disappeared.

In December 1984, two younger American {couples} had been strolling door to door in Guadalajara, making an attempt to unfold their religion as Jehovah’s Witnesses. The 4 had been kidnapped and by no means seen once more.

Two state police officers later stated that they helped kidnap and kill the {couples} on the order of Caro Quintero and fellow capo Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo. They apparently inadvertently knocked on Fonseca Carrillo’s door as they proselytized.

Vigil, who was in Mexico and labored on Camarena’s case on the time, defined why the investigation targeted on the killing of the DEA agent.

“I believe that the DEA targeting the Kiki Camarena case after which the drug trafficking expenses. I don’t assume that the DEA, it was not that they weren’t within the different murders, however, you realize, that most likely would have fallen into the jurisdiction of perhaps one other company,” Vigil stated.

“One of many issues that we had been actually targeted on was bringing these people to justice just because the DEA is dedicated that if one of many brokers is murdered, we are going to hunt these individuals all the way down to the tip of the earth and never spare any expenditure, any sources or any exercise that we now have to do to get the job executed,” he stated.

Lannie Walker says that “if Caro Quintero is extradited to the U.S. and is convicted and punished right here, that will be a small quantity of justice.”

They seemingly won’t come rapidly. Caro Quintero’s legal professionals filed measures with the courtroom – and the choose agreed – that will guarantee he goes by way of the total extradition course of and can have the potential of the corresponding appeals if mandatory. Extradition for former Sinaloa cartel chief Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman took a 12 months.

“We do have hope,” she stated. “However we’re very conscious of how the Mexican authorities and the Mexican judicial system has labored, you realize, so far as our fathers’ case is anxious up till now. So we do have hope however we’re nervous that what occurred in 2013 might occur once more.”



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