Federal Police officers watch this Wednesday the arrival of "el Güero" Palma to the Arraigo Center of Mexico City.Sáshenka Gutiérrez / EFE
Güerro Palma is not going to step on the street yet.
At least for now.
The Attorney General's Office announced this Wednesday that it will keep the drug trafficker in custody for 40 days while it gathers evidence for a pending investigation against him.
By order of a federal judge, Héctor Luis Palma Salazar, 80, has been transferred to the Centro Nacional de Arraigos in Mexico City.
Last Saturday, an unexpected judicial resolution acquitted one of the former bosses of the Sinaloa cartel of organized crime charges.
El Güero Palma, the terrifying leader of the Sinaloa cartel, will be released in June
Güero Palma's judicial career took a turn at dawn on May 1 when a Jalisco court acquitted him of the crimes against him. The drug trafficker had been serving his sentence since 2016 in the Altiplano prison, where he arrived after being released for good conduct from the Atwater prison in California. However, the Mexican government was not going to make it so easy. On Saturday night, he launched the 32 state prosecutors in search of some other ongoing case against Palma Salazar. Meanwhile, the Foreign Secretary is consulting the same with the US justice.
This Monday, while the country was witnessing the collapse of the Mexico City subway in shock, also at dawn, Palma left the prison of the State of Mexico for the capital to appear before the Special Prosecutor's Office for organized crime. The following day, the Public Ministry requested the arraigo as a precautionary measure to deepen an investigation against the drug trafficker, also related to organized crime. The Prosecutor's Office asked for time to find new evidence and to be able to request a new arrest warrant. There was, he explained, a high risk of flight.
The Mexican justice thus tries to avoid a new case such as that of Rafael Caro Quintero, who was released from prison due to a controversial court ruling in 2013 - invalidated shortly after - and has been a fugitive from justice ever since. Caro Quintero, leader of the defunct Guadalajara cartel, is now the most wanted fugitive by the DEA, the US narcotics agency.
The history of Güero Palma is that of one of the bloodiest criminal organizations of the last decades.
According to his judicial file, he started out as a hit man, worked side by side with the former police officer who arrested and tortured the undercover DEA agent Enrique Salazar Camarena and became a boss of the Sinaloa cartel.
Little by little he ascended until he reached the power circle of El Chapo, with whom he formed a close alliance and coincided in prison later.
The fate of the narco is still going to have to wait 40 days.
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