Jul 15, 2022 - World

Mexico captures drug lord wanted in U.S. for killing of DEA agent

police standing in the back of a patroling car

The Mexican Federal Police patrol the Puente Grande State prison in Zapotlanejo, Mexico, on Aug. 9, 2013, where Rafael Caro Quintero was released in 2013. Photo: Hector Guerrero/AFP via Getty Images

Mexican authorities on Friday captured infamous drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero, who was behind the killing of a DEA agent in 1985, AP reports.

Why it matters: Caro Quintero was wanted in the U.S. for the kidnapping and killing of DEA undercover agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, a murder that marked a low point in U.S.-Mexico relations.

  • Caro Quintero is on the list of the FBI's most wanted fugitives, with a $20 million reward for his capture through the State Department’s Narcotics Rewards Program.
  • He was added to the FBI’s top 10 most wanted list in 2018.

Catch up quick: Caro Quintero was one of the primary suppliers of heroin, cocaine and marijuana to the United States in the late 1970s, per AP. He blamed Camarena for a raid on a marijuana plantation in 1984. In 1985, Camarena was kidnapped.

  • His tortured body was found a month later in the Mexican state of Michoacán.
  • Caro Quintero had served 28 years of a 40-year prison sentence for Camarena's murder, but in 2013 he walked free after a court overturned the sentence, citing "administrative reasons," the Washington Post reports.

Go deeper: A narco speaks from behind bars

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