Mexican Court Orders Release of Former Mexican Drug Lord

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WESLACO - A retired Drug Enforcement Administration agent shared thoughts on the possible release of a former Mexican drug lord who murdered a fellow agent.

Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo was put behind bars for abducting and killing DEA agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena in 1985. A Mexican appeals court said the 86-year-old should be released from prison.

Former DEA agent Victor Cortez worked various investigations with fallen agent Camarena.

“What I remember is very dangerous. I worked a lot of undercover. I worked a lot of conspiracy cases, money laundering,” he said.

Cortez said his work with the DEA wasn’t restricted to the U.S.

“I was assigned to several areas including South American, Central America, the Caribbean, Mexico,” he listed.

Cortez said he worked with agents all over the world, including agent Enrique Camarena.

“It started back in 1984, when we started a mutual investigation. Then, I was assigned to Arizona and Enrique Camarena was assigned to Guadalajara, Jalisco,” he said. “Agent Camarena was a very active, aggressive agent. But he was also well-mannered, polite. He knew when to turn it on and when to turn it off,”

Cortez recalled when he received the news that Camarena had been abducted, tortured and murdered while working in Mexico.

“It’s very hard to learn that because when you come into law enforcement, you know you may one day pay the ultimate price but not in that manner,” he said.

The person convicted of killing the DEA agent was Carrillo, alleged co-founder of the Guadalajara Cartel. Recently, a Mexican appeals court ordered his release.  

“We are firmly opposed to his release or any other person that is currently incarcerated in Mexico. Why? Because we have to think about the Camarena family and what they went through,” Cortez said.

The ex DEA agent said he may not speak for the agency but he know the dangers of being an agent.

“We want to send a strong message to the drug trafficking organizations that if you take one of our DEA agents down, we’re going to go after you no matter what,” he said.

Cortez was also kidnapped and tortured by the cartels in 1986. He said he’s thankful he was able to live to tell his story. 


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