Skip to main content

Mexican Supreme Court overturns decision that freed drug lord

By CNN Staff
November 7, 2013 -- Updated 0430 GMT (1230 HKT)
Mexican drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero had served 28 years when he was set free by a judge.
Mexican drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero had served 28 years when he was set free by a judge.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Mexico's Supreme Court declares an August appeals court ruling invalid
  • Rafael Caro Quintero, a former cartel leader, is accused of killing a DEA agent
  • A Mexican judge overturned his conviction in a surprise ruling in August
  • The U.S. State Department is offering a $5 million reward for information leading to his capture

Read this article in Spanish at CNNMexico.com

(CNN) -- Mexico's high court has overturned a lower court ruling that freed Mexican drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero.

The Mexican Supreme Court's decision came a day after U.S. authorities said they would pay up to $5 million for information leading to Caro Quintero's arrest or conviction.

Caro Quintero, 61, once leader of Mexico's now-defunct Guadalajara Cartel, is accused in the 1985 kidnapping and killing of DEA agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena and his pilot, Alfredo Zavala Avelar.

He had served 28 years of a 40-year sentence for the killings when a judge in Mexico's Jalisco state overturned his conviction in August.

After a meeting in Washington in September, Mexican Attorney General Jesús Murillo Karam promised that authorities in his country would reapprehend Caro Quintero.

But there's been no word on the accused drug lord's whereabouts since then.

The Drug Enforcement Administration describes Caro Quintero as fugitive from the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on felony murder and kidnapping charges, in addition to other criminal charges.

On August 9, a Mexican federal court overturned Caro Quintero's conviction, ruling that he had been incorrectly tried in the country's federal judicial system, when he should have been tried at the state level.

In a 4-1 ruling Wednesday, Mexico's Supreme Court declared that ruling invalid.

CNN's Catherine E. Shoichet, Mariano Castillo, Rafael Romo and Ashley Fantz contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
August 1, 2014 -- Updated 1718 GMT (0118 HKT)
This is how the two U.S. aid workers infected with Ebola will be evacuated from west Africa.
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1818 GMT (0218 HKT)
While aspects of the fighting in Gaza resemble earlier clashes, this time feels different, writes military analyst Rick Francona.
July 31, 2014 -- Updated 1829 GMT (0229 HKT)
How did al Qaeda recruit a former Florida high school footballer?
July 31, 2014 -- Updated 1108 GMT (1908 HKT)
Flowers, a teddy bear and the smells of jet fuel and death haunt the MH17 crash site.
July 31, 2014 -- Updated 0354 GMT (1154 HKT)
If India and the U.S. were Facebook friends, the relationship between them would be "complicated." Can John Kerry's visit change that?
This looks like a ghost ship, but it's actually the site of a tense international standoff between the Philippines and China.
July 26, 2014 -- Updated 0048 GMT (0848 HKT)
Sure, Fido is a brown Lab. But inside, he may also be a little green.
July 28, 2014 -- Updated 1303 GMT (2103 HKT)
Photograph of an undisclosed location by Patrycja Makowska
Patrycja Makowska likes to give enigmatic names to the extraordinarily beautiful photographs she shoots of crumbling palaces.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1835 GMT (0235 HKT)
Take a look inside Airbus' new -- and surprisingly quiet -- A350XWB.
August 1, 2014 -- Updated 0331 GMT (1131 HKT)
What're you doing after work today? If you lived in these cities you could head to the BEACH!
ADVERTISEMENT