Carrillo Fuentes’ nephew and top associate, Vicente Carrillo Leyva, is jailed in Mexico but could be free in the coming days after a judge dropped the most serious charges against him. Other, lesser charges were still pending but his lawyers posted bond, leaving the door open to his release.
The indictment, provided here (pdf) by InSight Crime, connects the Carrillo Fuentes’ organization to the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), a former paramilitary organization that provided the backbone of the current criminal groups in Colombia, and the Norte del Valle Cartel, a powerful collection of ex-police turn drug traffickers that ruled the Colombian underworld for almost ten years.
The diplomatic and judicial scramble this weekend to keep Carrillo Leyva in jail may be monumental. The U.S. undoubtedly wants Carrillo Leyva in the U.S. His father, Amado Carrillo Fuentes, ran circles around U.S. law enforcement for years, as the head of the vaunted Juarez Cartel. Amado died in 1997, after undergoing plastic surgery.
Mexico has extradited over 350 suspects to the United States during the Felipe Calderon Administration. But for all the big names that have passed over the border, including Osiel Cardenas Guillen, the former head of the Gulf Cartel, there are an equally unsettling number who remain in Mexico.