MMexican drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero, who was finally jailed again in July, had previously evaded 12 attempts to capture him.
Quintero had been a top target for the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) for years, and they grew increasingly frustrated with the lack of support from their Mexican counterparts.
Following his successful capture on July 15, Mexico claims sole responsibility for the operation. According to the Washington Post, current and former members of the DEA task force responsible for spying on him denied the notion.
Quintero was originally arrested in 1985 for alleged involvement in the murder of DEA agent Kiki Camarena, among other crimes. However, due to technical reasons, he was released in 2013.
After his release, El Narcos de Narcos summed up his career in the drug trade and received $20 million on his head.
Betrayed by his own family
The DEA said they were able to recruit informants from Quintero’s family circle, allowing them to learn about his every move and habit.
On the other hand, Quintero had his own informants, and US authorities became frustrated as efforts to capture him were continually thwarted by alleged leaks. There were allegations that Quintero was assisted by senior figures in the Mexican civil service and possibly the government and military.
For the DEA, this was more than just catching one of their most wanted criminals. After Camarena’s death in 1985, this matter was personal.
It was considered institutionally important for the DEA to finally see Quintero behind bars. Friends and colleagues saw this as a mission to avenge Kiki.