Agents shocked as cartel boss involved in torture death of DEA colleague slips away

The case of Quintero, for U.S. agents, is personal. Quintero spent the last 28 years locked up for the 1985 kidnapping and killing of American DEA agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena. He was originally sentenced to spend 40 years behind bars.

Mexican and U.S. authorities are scrambling to find a 60-year-old former drug lord — who was behind the brutal killing of an American agent nearly two decades ago — following his recent, and unexpected, release from a Mexican prison.

Rafael Caro Quintero walked out of Jalisco State prison shortly after midnight on Aug. 9 — a free man on a legal technicality, a decision which drew international condemnation and which the White House warns could lead to the release of other drug criminals in Mexico.

Security guards were assigned to follow Quintero after his release, but the former cartel boss was able to shake them after only 10 minutes, a source familiar with the events told

As both governments now try to figure out a way to re-apprehend and detain Quintero, outrage continues to build in the U.S., with current and former federal drug agents vowing to seek justice. The turn of events already threatens to deeply damage ties between the U.S. and Mexico. Attorney General Eric Holder has contacted his Mexican counterparts about the release, the Justice Department confirmed to this week.


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