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U.S. Victims of Mexican Drug Lord Seek Extradition, Justice

When fugitive 1980s Mexican drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero was arrested in Mexico last week, it stirred up terrible memories for Lannie Walker, the daughter of American writer John Clay Walker. While Caro Quintero was sentenced only 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, the Associated Press reports. John Clay Walker, then 36, a writer who had moved to Guadalajara to finish a book, was one. “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.”

“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 hours.” 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.” Lannie Walker says, “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 requests with the court - and the judge agreed - that would ensure he goes through the full extradition process and will have the possibility of appeals if necessary. The extradition for former Sinaloa cartel leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman took a year.


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