MEXICO CITY ( Associated Press) — When Rafael Caro Quintero, a 1980s Mexican drug lord, was arrested in Mexico this week, the news brought back old and terrifying memories for Lanny Walker, the daughter of American author John Clay. Did it Walker.
Although Caro Quintero was only convicted in Mexico for the 1985 murders of United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena and Mexican pilot Alfredo Zavala Avelar, his gang allegedly killed six American citizens in the Mexican city of Guadalajara. was apparently murdered. at the same time.
One of them was author John Clay Walker, who was 36 at the time and had moved to Guadalajara to finish a book.
“We are very pleased to hear that[Caro Quintero]has been captured, and it has also opened up a huge blow to us,” said Lanny Walker. “My sister and I have lost almost 40 years without our father, there is nothing that can make up for it.”
American author and his friend Alberto Radelat, a dentist student from Fort Worth, Texas, had entered an upscale seafood restaurant in Guadalajara to celebrate Walker’s expected return to the United States.
He didn’t expect that Caro Quintero and his associates were having a private party in a room behind the restaurant.
“Our father, an American citizen with no involvement in the US-Mexico drug war, was an innocent bystander who inadvertently found himself caught in the fire of a dangerous drug cartel,” said Lanny Walker. “They started questioning my father and Al, asking them what they knew about anti-drug agents in Mexico, what they knew about the investigation. My father didn’t know anything, he was an innocent writer. They tortured her with an ice pick for an hour.”
Mike Vigil, former director of international operations for the DEA, said that “Caro Quintero was one of those men now that he had power, he had money, he crossed the line several times in terms of casualties.”
Regarding what happened at the restaurant, Vigil said that “they looked and saw two Americans and immediately their paranoia made them think they were DEA agents. They followed him and stabbed him to death.” ”
The bodies of Radelat and Walker were found wrapped in a rug in June 1985, about five months after their disappearance.
In December 1984, two young American couples went door to door in Guadalajara in an effort to spread their faith as Jehovah’s Witnesses. All four were kidnapped and never seen again.
Two state police officers later said they had helped in the kidnapping and murder of the couples on the orders of Caro Quintero and another Capo, Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo. He apparently knocked on Fonseca Carrillo’s door without knowing it while they were trying to campaign.
Vigil, who was in Mexico and working on the Camarena case at the time, explained why the investigation was focused on the murder of a DEA agent.
“I think the DEA focused on the Kiki Camarena case and then the drug trafficking charges. I don’t think the DEA, it’s not that they weren’t interested in the other murders, but maybe it’s about some other agency. would have come under jurisdiction.”
“One of the things we were very focused on was to bring these people to justice, simply because the DEA is committed that if one of our agents is killed, we will chase these people to the end of the world. will, and we will not amend the expenses or in any activity that we have to do to achieve this,” he said.
Lanny Walker said that “if Caro Quintero is extradited to the United States and convicted and punished here, it would be little justice.”
That probably won’t happen soon. Caro Quintero’s lawyers appealed to the court – and the judge agreed – to ensure that he goes through the full extradition process and is likely to present a related appeal if necessary. The extradition of former Sinaloa cartel boss Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán took a year.
“We have hope,” Walker said. “But we know very well how the Mexican government and the Mexican judicial system have worked, as far as our father’s case is concerned. So we are hopeful, but we are nervous that 2013 What happened in the U.S. could happen again,” she said, referring to a wrongful decision by the Mexican Court of Appeals, which allowed her to leave prison until she was imprisoned this month.