Drs. Charged in Drug Lord's Death
Nov. 08, 1997
MEXICO CITY (AP) _ If only dead men could tell tales.
The tortured, bound and burned bodies of two doctors are found in oil drums filled with concrete.
Four days later, they're charged with murdering a fugitive drug lord by injecting him with a lethal analgesic shortly after he underwent plastic surgery.
Mexican prosecutors won't say why they believe that the pair deliberately killed Amado Carrillo Fuentes, known as the ``Lord of the Skies'' for using jetliners to haul cocaine into the United States.
But in announcing the charges against Jaime Godoy Singh and Ricardo Reyes on Thursday, the government's chief prosecutor of drug crimes was unequivocal.
``We have concluded that the doctors, with the intention of killing (Carrillo), administered the medicine,'' Mariano Salvatti said.
Carrillo, who ran the powerful Juarez drug cartel out of northern Mexico, died after undergoing extensive cosmetic surgery and liposuction on July 4 in an apparent attempt to change his appearance to elude police.
Carrillo's death set off a no-holds-barred battle among drug traffickers in which at least 30 people have died, Sen. Francisco Molina was quoted by the daily La Jornada as saying.
According to Molina, the battle pits Carrillo Fuentes' cartel, based in Ciudad Juarez across the border from El Paso, Texas, against the equally powerful Tijuana-based cartel headed by members of the Arellano Felix family. At stake is control of the flow of cocaine entering the United States.
But like the killings of Godoy and Reyes, none of the recent killings _ most near the U.S. border _ have been clarified.
Godoy and Reyes were Carrillo Fuentes' personal physicians, and must have known that the sleep medication they gave Carrillo after his surgery would kill him, given his weak liver, Salvatti told reporters late Thursday.
But before police could arrest the doctors, three decomposing corpses were found Sunday in sealed, foul-smelling oil drums along a southern Mexico highway. Police later identified the bodies as those of Godoy and Reyes.
A third doctor, Carlos Humberto Avila Meljem, also was charged last month, prosecutors said. Police have yet to say whether his body was the third one found in an oil drum.
Two of the men in the barrel were strangled; the third died of a gunshot to the head, authorities said.
Who ordered Carrillo Fuentes killed and why still remains a mystery.
He was being hunted on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, and apparently he was feeling increasingly hemmed in. With personal wealth estimated at $23 billion, he seems to have decided to branch out.
He visited Russia, Cuba, some still undetermined European countries and Chile, where investigators said he had a number of business dealings. Chilean authorities say he had started to set up a base in the Chilean capital.
One thing has been confirmed: Carrillo Fuentes wanted to radically change his appearance _ and quickly. The Lord of the Skies was a tall, burly man, with a thin mustache, and a ruddy appearance _ the result of alcoholism and addiction to cocaine.
Work was done on his face, and several gallons of fat were sucked out of his midriff.
Did the Arellano Felix gang have The Lord of the Skies killed? Or did some other mysterious figure engineer his death? The answer may be difficult to come by.
Those who may know _ the doctors _ are dead.