Mexico Arrests Drug Lord, US Calls for Extradition

    Photo: AFP [via New York Post]

    The Facts

    • On Fri., Rafael Caro Quintero, a notorious drug lord known as the "narco of narcos," was detained. He's allegedly one of the co-founders of the Guadalajara cartel and is on the FBI's 10 most wanted list.

    • The arrest came just days after Mexico's Pres. Andrés Manuel López Obrador met with US Pres. Biden at the White House. Caro Quintero was found by a search dog while hiding in the bushes near San Simon, Sinaloa.

    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    Caro Quintero's arrest clearly shows that there's no hiding place for anyone who kidnaps, tortures, and murders US law enforcement. After decades of tireless work to bring him to justice, his requested extradition is the last step to ensure he will be tried in the justice system that Camareña gave his life to defend.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    It's very unlikely that Quintero will be extradited to the US. Although it would help bring justice to Camareña's killing, it might not be of genuine interest to either country as uncomfortable truths behind the murder could be revealed, including of corrupt officials who were in command positions at the time.

    Cynical narrative

    This is merely a symbolic arrest to appease the DEA and show that American and Mexican agencies can cooperate. In practical terms, however, this has little impact as Caro Quintero has lost its "narco of the narcos" position due to the recent decentralization of Mexico's drug trafficking structure.

    Establishment split



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