Arrested Witness Offers Details on Camarena Killing
Jun. 12, 1985
MEXICO CITY (AP) _ Three reputed drug barons ordered the killing of U.S. special agent Enrique Camarena Salazar after he disclosed that American officials considered the three ''dangerous narcotics traffickers,'' an eyewitness said in a statement.
Francisco Fonseca, spokesman for the Attorney General's Office, Wednesday confirmed details provided by the witness, Francisco Javier Tejeda Jaramillo, who has been charged with murder in the case.
Tejeda, 32, told authorities that the reputed drug traffickers - Rafael Caro Quintero, Miguel Felix Gallardo and Ernesto Fonseca - made the ''unanimous'' decision to order Camarena's death on Feb. 8, according to the spokesman.
Police consider the three to be among the top four kingpins of the illegal drug trade in Mexico.
Camarena, an agent for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, was abducted Feb. 7 in Guadalajara. His badly beaten body was discovered, along with that of a Mexican pilot who worked with him, on March 5.
After his abduction, Camarena, his face covered and his hands tied, was taken to a house owned by Caro Quintero in Guadalajara where he was beaten by three of Felix Gallardo's associates, according to Tejeda.
''He was in agony,'' said Francisco Fonseca.
The witness' account states that Ernesto Fonseca and another man, Samuel Ramirez Razo, entered the room where Camarena was being held and Ramirez asked how the DEA considered the three.
''Camarena responded that they were classified as dangerous drug traffickers in DEA files,'' said Francisco Fonseca.
Caro Quintero, Felix Gallardo and Ernesto Fonseca then allegedly decided to order Camarena's death, according to the account.
''I think that was the motive for the death,'' the Attorney General's Office spokesman said.
Tejeda told authorities that Felix Gallardo's associates used material from a pillowcase and adhesive tape to cover Camarena's nose and mouth.
''I believe that in about three minutes Camarena died of asphyxiation,'' Tejeda said in his statement to authorities.
Camarena was then put in the trunk of a car where Julio Alvarez, identified as one of Felix Gallardo's associates, struck him on the head with a tire iron, Tejeda alleged.
In addition to murder, Tejeda has been charged with criminal association, conspiracy and possession of illegal arms.
Caro Quintero and Ernesto Fonseca were arrested earlier and charged in April with Camarena's death and abduction.
Authorities are still looking for Felix Gallardo and three of his associates, according to Francisco Fonseca.
Felix Gallardo's whereabouts are unknown, said the spokesman.
In addition to Caro Quintero, Felix Gallardo and Ernesto Fonseca, authorities have identified Juan Ramon Matta-Ballesteros as the fourth reputed leader of Mexico's illegal drug trade. He was arrested last month in Colombia.