Rafael Caro Quintero, the Mexican drug lord named in the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list

19/11/2019
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14:36
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Newsroom/EL UNIVERSAL in English
Rafael Caro Quintero, the Mexican drug lord named in the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list
Rafael Caro Quintero is wanted for the murder of a U.S. federal agent in 1985 - Photo: Taken from the FBI's website

Rafael Caro Quintero, the Mexican drug lord named in the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list

19/11/2019
14:36
Newsroom/EL UNIVERSAL in English
Mexico City
Susana Zavala, Víctor Sancho
-A +A
Infamous drug lord Caro Quintero is still at large and is wanted by the FBI

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While infamous drug trafficker Rafael Caro Quintero served a 40-year jail sentence, close family members and friends created a legal business network comprised of at least 30 companies.

All the businesses were opened in Guadalajara, in the state of Jalisco. The business focus on real state, fuel distribution, mining, car sales, restaurants, beauty products, and spa treatments.

The businesses were created by 25 people who were part of Quintero's close circle, who was the leader of the now-extinct Guadalajara cartel and who is now at large. His associates include 10 family members and 15 partners.

Unofficially, it is known that the 67-year-old drug trafficker had a fortune worth around USD $500 million.

El Chapo is hailed as a modern “Robin Hood” in Mexico

In 2013, the U.S. Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC), under the Treasure Department, revealed there was a business network created by Caro Quintero's family and partners. In 2016, it added that Diana Espinoza controlled 24 of these companies.

Furthermore, EL UNIVERSAL obtained information that confirms the network has extended beyond those 30 companies.

Although in August 2019 four people allegedly linked to Caro Quintero were deleted from the OFAC'a blacklist but all his family members remain.

The companies created by Caro Quintero's family include Organic Salt, Minerales Nueva Era, Minerales Nueva Generación, Grupo Español Elcar, Servicio y Operadora Santa Ana, Henoch creó Energéticos Vago, Petro Mas, Petro Bio, Estación de Servicio Atemajac, Villas de Colli, Barsat, Grupo Barsaterra, Desarrolladora San Francisco del Rincón, Nueva Terra, Dinermas, Desarrollos Bio Gas, Hacienda Las Limas, Promi Fel, Evcomer, Reforestaciones Careles, Telefónica Cecetel, Cacego, Blue Point Salt, Roxana Elizabeth, Jesús Briseño Gómez, Cervecería Minerva, El Depósito, and El Baño de María.

On October 23, the U.S. Justice Department released a statement announcing that it is looking to seize the cartel leader's real state in Mexico, as he used resources obtained from drug trafficking to purchase the properties.

The statement explains that: “According to the forfeiture complaint, between January 1980 and March 2015, the Caro Quintero drug trafficking organization was involved in the transportation of multi-ton quantities of marijuana, multi-kilogram quantities of methamphetamine and multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine from Mexico to the United States. As part of its investigation, law enforcement learned that Caro Quintero used proceeds from the sale of illegal narcotics to purchase real estate in and around his home area of Guadalajara.”

The DEA lists El Chapo's son as one of the most wanted criminals

Who is Rafel Caro Quintero?

Rafael Caro Quintero is a Mexican drug trafficker who co-founded the now-extinct Guadalajara cartel along with Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo in the 1970s.

Caro Quintero shipped large quantities of marijuana from Mexico to the U.S. and was responsible for the kidnapping and murder of DEA agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena and writer John Clay Walker.

After the murders, Caro Quintero fled to Costa Rica but was later arrested and extradited to Mexico, where he was sentenced to 40-years in prison for murder.

Caro Quintero was released from jail in 2013 after a court ruled that he had been tried improperly. He remains at large and as a wanted fugitive in Mexico, the U.S., and other countries.

The DEA offers a USD $20 million reward for information leading to his arrest.  

The story behind two of Mexico's bloodiest cartels

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