Mexico moves jailed drug lord to house arrest
An aging drug lord convicted in the 1985 murder of a US undercover agent was transferred from a Mexican prison to house arrest early Thursday, authorities said.
Eduardo Guerrero, head of Mexico’s penitentiary system, said Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo was moved to a house near Mexico City before dawn to serve the last nine years of his 40-year sentence there following a judge’s order.
“We tried for more than a year to avoid carrying this out, but a judge decided the opposite and ordered us to do this,” Guerrero told the Televisa network.
Last year, a federal court approved Fonseca Carrillo’s request to finish his sentence under house arrest after his lawyers said he should be released due to his advanced age and illnesses.
His daughter, Johana, said her 86-year-old father “possibly has colon cancer” and has lost vision in one eye, along with other ailments.
Fonseca Carrillo, alias “Don Neto,” had been held at the Puente Grande prison in the western state of Jalisco. His lawyer said he would complete his sentence at a house in Atizapan de Zaragoza, just outside Mexico City.
Fonseca Carrillo was convicted for the 1985 murder of US Drug Enforcement Administration agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, a crime that strained US-Mexican relations at the time.
Fonseca Carrillo is the oldest of the three founders of the now defunct Guadalajara drug cartel, once the most powerful gang in Mexico. They are considered the forefathers of modern drug trafficking in Mexico.
In 2013, a court freed cartel co-founder Rafael Caro Quintero on a legal technicality with 12 years left in his 40-year prison sentence over Camarena’s murder, a move that angered US authorities.
Their third partner, Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo, remains in prison.