PanamaTimes

Saturday, Apr 20, 2024

'Forgotten' US victims of Mexican drug lord want justice

'Forgotten' US victims of Mexican drug lord want justice

When fugitive 1980s Mexican drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero was arrested in Mexico last week, it stirred up old, terrible memories for Lannie Walker, the daughter of American writer John Clay Walker.
While Caro Quintero was only ever sentenced in Mexico for the killing of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena and Mexican pilot Alfredo Zavala Avelar in 1985, his gang apparently killed as many as six U.S. citizens in the western city of Guadalajara around the same time.

John Clay Walker, then 36 and a writer who had moved to Guadalajara to finish a book, was one of them.

“We were both very glad to hear that (Caro Quintero) had been captured, and it also brought back a lot of trauma for us,” said Lannie Walker. “My sister and I have lost almost 40 years with our father, there is nothing that can make up for that.”

The U.S. writer and his friend Alberto Radelat, a dental student from Fort Worth, Texas, had walked into “The Lobster,” a high-end Guadalajara seafood restaurant, to celebrate Walker’s planned return to the United States.

They did not know that Caro Quintero and his companions were holding a private party in a back room of the restaurant.

“Our father was an American citizen with no involvement in the Mexico-United States drug war, he was an innocent bystander that unwittingly became caught in the crosshairs of a dangerous drug cartel,” said Lannie Walker. “They began questioning my father and Al, asking them what they knew about the drug enforcement agents in Mexico, what they knew about the investigation. My father knew nothing, he was an innocent writer. They tortured him with an icepick for an hour.”

Mike Vigil, the DEA’s former chief of international operations, said “Caro Quintero was one of those individuals that because he now had power, he had wealth, he crossed the line many times in terms of the people that he killed.”

Describing what occurred at the restaurant, Vigil said “they looked out and they saw the two Americans and they immediately through their paranoia as well thought that they were DEA agents. They took him into the back and stabbed to death.”

The bodies of Radelat and Walker were found wrapped in carpet in June 1985, nearly five months after they disappeared.

In December 1984, two young American couples were walking door to door in Guadalajara, trying to spread their faith as Jehovah’s Witnesses. The four were abducted and never seen again.

Two state police officials later said that they helped kidnap and kill the couples on the order of Caro Quintero and fellow capo Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo. They apparently inadvertently knocked on Fonseca Carrillo’s door as they proselytized.

Vigil, who was in Mexico and worked on Camarena’s case at the time, explained why the investigation focused on the killing of the DEA agent.

“I think that the DEA concentrated on the Kiki Camarena case and then the drug trafficking charges. I don’t think that the DEA, it was not that they weren’t interested in the other murders, but, you know, that probably would have fallen into the jurisdiction of maybe another agency,” Vigil said.

“One of the things that we were really focused on was bringing these individuals to justice simply because the DEA is committed that if one of the agents is murdered, we will hunt these people down to the end of the earth and not spare any expenditure, any resources or any activity that we have to do to get the job done,” he said.

Lannie Walker says that “if Caro Quintero is extradited to the U.S. and is convicted and punished here, that would be a small amount of justice.”

They likely will not come quickly. Caro Quintero’s lawyers filed measures with the court - and the judge agreed - that would ensure he goes through the full extradition process and will have the possibility of the corresponding appeals if necessary. Extradition for former Sinaloa cartel leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman took a year.

“We do have hope,” she said. “But we are very aware of how the Mexican government and the Mexican judicial system has worked, you know, as far as our fathers’ case is concerned up until now. So we do have hope but we are nervous that what happened in 2013 could happen again.”
Newsletter

Related Articles

PanamaTimes
0:00
0:00
Close
Apple warns against drying iPhones with rice
In a recent High Court hearing, the U.S. argued that Julian Assange endangered lives by releasing classified information.
Global Law Enforcement Dismantles Lockbit Ransomware Operation
Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has died at the Arctic prison colony
The President of Argentina Javier Mile does not fly private, he flies commercial, with the citizens he represents. And they LOVE him for it.
Bitcoin Reaches $50,000 for First Time in Over Two Years
Belo Horizonte: Brazil's Rising Carnival Hotspot for 2024
In El Salvador, the 'Trump of Latin America' stuns the world with a speech slamming woke policing after winning a landslide election
Tucker’s interview with Putin is over 50M views on X within the first 5 hours.
Finnish Airline, Finnair, is voluntarily weighing passengers to better estimate flight cargo weight
President Nayib Bukele has proudly announced El Salvador's remarkable achievement of becoming the safest nation in the Western Hemisphere.
Former Chilean President Sebastian Piñera Dies in Helicopter Crash
This farmer seems to understand science a bit more than the event organizer, Klaus Schwab.
Facebook turns 20: From Mark Zuckerberg's dormitory to a $1trn company
The Coolest Dictator in the World" on the Path to Victory in El Salvador
Macron, France and fake news
Indian-Origin Man 'King' Arrested For Smuggling $16 Million Drugs Into US
Can someone teach Americans that not every person with slanted eyes is Chinese?
Europe's Farmers Feeding the People, Protesting Against Politicians Who Do Nothing for Their Country and Serve Only Themselves at Taxpayers' Expense
Paris Restaurant That Inspired 'Ratatouille' Loses $1.6 Million Worth Of Wine
Brazilian Police Investigate Bolsonaro's Son for Alleged Illegal Spying
Police in Brazil Raid Residence of Bolsonaro Associate Over Allegations of Illegal Spying
Border Dispute Escalates as Texas Governor Vows Increased Razor Wire
OpenAI Enhances ChatGPT-4 Model, Potentially Addressing AI "Laziness" Issue
The NSA finally acknowledges spying on Americans by acquiring sensitive data
Report Reveals Toxic Telegram Group Generating X-Rated AI-Generated Fake Images of Taylor Swift
US Border Patrol States 'No Plans' to Remove Razor Wire Installed in Texas
Bitcoin Experiences Approximately 20% Decline in Value
Klaus Schwab recently appointed himself as the Earth's "trustee of the future."
DeSantis Drops Out, Endorses Trump.
Nikki Haley said former President Trump is "just not at the same level" of mental fitness as he was while president in 2016.
Residents of a southern Mexican town set the government palace on fire in response to the police killing of a young man
Samsung Launches AI-Driven Galaxy S24, Ushering in New Smartphone Era
Judge Questions SEC's Regulatory Overreach in Coinbase Lawsuit
The Ecuador prosecutor who was investigating the television studio attack, has been assassinated.
Is artificial intelligence the solution to cyber security threats?
Vivek Ramaswamy suspends his US election campaign and endorses Trump.
Viral Satire: A Staged Satirical Clip Mistaken as Real Footage from the 2024 World Economic Forum in Davos
The AI Revolution in the Workforce: CEOs at Davos Predict Major Job Cuts in 2024
Ecuador Reports 178 Hostages in Prison Gang Standoff
The Startling Cuban Espionage Case That Has Rattled the US Government
Two Armed Men in Ecuador, Dressed as Batman and The Joker Storm the Streets.
Armed Gang Raids Ecuadorian TV Station Following State of Emergency Declaration
Anti-Democratic Canada: Journalist Arrested for Questioning Canadian Finance Minister on Support of Terrorist Group
Ecuador's 'Most-Wanted' Criminal Vanishes from Prison
Mexican Cartel Supplied Wi-Fi to Locals Under Threat of Fatal Consequences for Non-Compliance
Border Surge Leads to Over 11,000 Migrants Waiting in Northern Mexico
Outsider Candidates Triumph in Latin American Elections
As Argentina Goes to the Polls, Will the Proposal to Replace the Peso with the Dollar Secure Votes?
Fatal Shark Attack Claims Life of Boston Woman Paddleboarding Near Bahamas Resort, According to Police
×