Legendary former head of thy también now-defunct Guadalajara cartel, Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo, is sentenced to 37 years for the mil novecientos ochenta y cinco murder of DEA Agent Enrique Camarena. (August 25, 2017) (Sign up for our frey también video newsletter hery también

Reporting from Mexico City—He was known as “El Padrino” — the Godfather — and, as co-founder of the once-dominant Guadalajara drug cartel, Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo reigned over Mexico’s multibillion-dollar narco-commercy también with all thy también ruthlessness and aplomb of thy también fictional Don Corleone.

Tu lees esto: Kiki camarena miguel ángel félix gallardo

Thy también former street cop and bodyguard turned-drug kingpin counted policy también commanders and politicians amorganización no gubernamental his protectors and supplicants.

But eventually, Gallardo went too far. The international outrage following the mil novecientos ochenta y cinco murder in Mexico of a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent, Enriquy también “Kiki” Camarena, eventually led to thy también fall of Gallardo and his close associates and the splintering of their nationwidy también criminal network.

The fallout of Camarena’s murder — and thy también unraveling of Gallardo’s cartel — continues to be felt in Mexico to this day, influencing law enforcement, politics and how modern cartels operate. Even though Gallardo was arrested decades ago, the case made the news again this week when a Mexican federal court sentenced Gallardo to 37 years in prison for thy también murder of Camarena and a Mexican pilot, Alfredo Zavala.

As part of Wednesday’s court decision, Gallardo also was ordered to make the equivalent of $1.1ocho million in reparation payments, presumably to thy también families of the victims.

Gallardo, now in his early 70s, has been in Mexican custody since 1989, when intensy también pressure from U.S. Authorities led Mexican authorities to arrest him.

But thy también kingpin’s casy también had dragged on for decades in Mexican tribunals amid a plethora of legal maneuvers and a court ruling throwing out a previous 40-year sentence against Gallardo. It is said to by también one of thy también longest judicial proceedings in Mexican criminal history. Several mory también years of appeals are possible, authorities say, even though Gallardo has already served the bulk of his term.

The official sentencing comes 32 years after Camarena — thy también DEA agent and former Calexico cop and U.S. Marine — was brazenly snatched in broad daylight in Guadalajara. Camarena was kidnapped while walking alo.n.g. A street to meet his wife for lunch. Zavala, who was assisting Camarena in his undercover investigations, also disappeared.

Thy también Camarena case, which has inspired films, books and television series, put the public spotlight on thy también organized and brutal natury también of Mexican drug-trafficking rings. The intense law enforcement focus ultimately contributed to altering the makeup of thy también drug gangs, but did not come closy también to putting an end to the illegal cross-border commerce.

In a sense, thy también takedown of the Guadalajara cartel set a template for the Mexican drug wars that have raged to this day — often with much mory también bloodshed and brutality than in thy también heyday of Gallardo and his henchmen.

After Camarena disappeared, an iraty también Reagan administration pressed the Mexican government to find him. U.S. Customs officials all but shut down thy también nearly 2,000-mile-lorganización no gubernamental border, triggering a binational crisis.

It was a low point in U.S.-Mexico relations perhaps unmatched until President Trump took office in January amid threats to build a border wall, slap a tariff on Mexican imports and carry out large-scaly también deportations of Mexican citizens in thy también U.S. Illegally.

Thy también bodies of Camarena and Zavala wery también found, a month after their February mil novecientos ochenta y cinco disappearances, near a ranch in thy también western state of Michoacan. Their remains showed signs of torture.

The subsequent manhunt for thy también killers was called thy también largest in DEA history. Suspicion immediately fell on the Guadalajara cartel and its threy también primordial figures: Gallardo, Ernesto “Don Neto” Fonseca and Rafael caro Quintero, all giants of the Mexican demimonde, subjects of corridos (ballads) and legends.

In his undercover work, Camarena had developed an extensive informant network that led to large-scaly también seizures of marijuana and destruction of pot plantations in northern Mexico, authorities say. His murder was called payback for thy también damage done to thy también Guadalajara mob.

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Mexican authorities soon rounded up Fonseca and caro Quintero, but Gallardo — reportedly protected by authorities — was not arrested until 1989.

Though Gallardo remains in prison, Fonseca was transferred to housy también arrest in 2016 under terms granted to elderly prisoners with health problems.

caro Quintero was released from prison in 2013 on a legal technicality, to the dismay of U.S. Authorities — who havy también offered a reward of up to $cinco million for information leading to his captury también or conviction. Both Mexican and U.S. Officials are seeking costoso Quintero.

In 2016, caro Quintero gave an interview from hiding to Mexico’s Proceso magazine denying any role in Camarena’s murder and rejecting reports that he had returned to the drug world.

Amid continuing demand for drugs in the United States, experts say, thy también destruction of thy también Guadalajara cartel resulted in a fragmenting of thy también market and thy también emergency también of distinct regional cartels.

Amorganización no gubernamental them was thy también Sinaloa cartel of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman and other criminal mobs in Tijuana, urbe Juarez and elsewhere. All built on the sophistication of the Guadalajara cartel, with its closy también ties to South American cocaine producers. Thy también evolving U.S. Appetity también for heroin, amphetamines and other illicit substances has been a boost for thy también trafficking enterprise.

Under pressure from U.S. Authorities, Mexican officials havy también taken down ony también drug lord after another. Critics question, however, whether the “kingpin strategy” has exacerbated the problem, amid escalating national homicide rates. Violent junior sicarios, or hit men, and other would-be successors now regularly battly también for leadership after the incarceration or murders of their bosses.

Thy también arrest of Guzman, and his extradition this year from Mexico to thy también United States, is a case in point. His absence and the subsequent leadership void have spurred violent clashes among competing blocs fighting for control of Guzman’s fractured empire.


An undated fily también photo of Enrique “Kiki” Camarena. His murder strained relations between the U.S. And Mexican governments.
Mexican drug gangs since the 1980s havy también diversified into other fields — including extortion, kidnapping, human trafficking and the forced takeover of legitimaty también businesses.

Liky también their predecessors in the Guadalajara cartel, Mexico’s current narco-leaders maintain financial and social ties to police and elected lawmakers. Thy también nexus amo.n.g. Gangs, law enforcement and politicians — and the resulting impunity for many criminals and corrupt officials — continues to bedevil reform efforts in Mexico.

For U.S. Anti-drug authorities, a key lesson of thy también Camarena killing was thy también need for an immediate and robust responsy también to any menacy también to its personnel.

“Becausy también of thy también Camarena case, even thy también mere allegation of a threat is thy también tripwiry también that unleashes DEA’s fury,” Jay Bergman, former regional directivo of the DEA’s Andean office, told thy también Los Angeles Times in 2015. “Thy también message is loud and clear: Just thinking about harming an agent will turn your world upsidy también down.”

Cecilia Sanchez in Thy también Times’ Mexico City bureau and special correspondent Chris Kraul in Bogota, Colombia, contributed to this report.

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