Osiel Cardenas Guillen still owes 20 mill dollars

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Osiel Cardenas Guillen still owes 20 mill dollars

[Bjeff: I could not find the original source in The Dallas Morning News]

San Antonio, Texas - According to information from the San Antonio-based Southeast Texas District Court, former drug lord Osiel Cárdenas Guillén has $ 20.4 million to pay the US government.

On February 25, 2010, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison for drug trafficking, money laundering and attempted murder of US federal agents, for which time he had committed to deliver 50 million dollars.

During the years leading the Gulf cartel in northern Mexico, there were violent clashes, especially in cities on the border of Tamaulipas.

By March 1, Cárdenas Guillén has delivered 29,534,830 dollars of the agreement made in July 2009, after two years of his extradition to the US. His arrest occurred in 2003, after an intense confrontation with elements of Sedena.

The problem now faced by the US federal authorities is that the capo has been deprived of power on both sides of the border and would have no way to get the remaining 20,465,170 dollars when he still has eight years in prison.

Tactics of war

An investigation by the Dallas Morning News indicates that after the guilty plea agreed between Osiel Cárdenas Guillén and the United States Government, a violent rupture occurred between two cartels, which led to the deaths of thousands of people in Mexico.

The investigation into the agreement between the Gulf Cartel leader and the US is based on hundreds of confidential court documents, interviews with officials from both governments, confidential informants and former members of both cartels.

The statements provide a glimpse into the strategy and tactics used in the war on drugs on both sides of the border, as well as on the operations and changing dynamics of the cartels.

In July 2009, Cárdenas Guillén agreed to plead guilty in the federal court in southeast Texas for drug trafficking, money laundering and attempted murder of US federal agents.

Under the agreement, which at that time was sealed, Cárdenas Guillén promised to deliver the 50 million dollars.

"The $ 50 million confiscated consisted not only of cash but also of ranches and aircraft.

"Much of the cash was extracted from bunkers in Mexico and transported across the border in the trunk of a car in 2008 and 2009," the US newspaper quoted.

Negotiation failure

Cárdenas was given a relatively low sentence of 25 years in prison at the beginning of 2010.

According to The Dallas Morning News, opposing groups thought that sending money would give Cárdenas Guillén right to an early release.

The tension between the two cartels had escalated after Cardenas' arrest, and his former armed wing had become a veritable criminal organization at the time of his sentence.

When los Zetas discovered that it had been giving information to the Government of the United States, they declared war on the group of Cárdenas Guillén.

The conflict sparked an explosion of violence along the Texas border, according to US officials aware of the deal.

The intermediary

Juan Jesús Guerrero Chapa, lawyer and confidant of Cárdenas Guillén, supervised the collection and transfer of assets.

Guerrero Chapa contributed a large amount of information to the US government on behalf of the capo, while allegedly continuing his participation in the drug trade.

The lawyer was tracked down and killed in 2013 by a masked gunman while shopping with his wife in Southlake, a suburb of Dallas, where he had a home.

An attorney for one of the defendants testified in court documents that Guerrero Chapa was "de facto" head of the cartel and that he continued his association with criminals until his death.

Secondary effect

As investigated by Texas media, several US officials are deeply divided over their role in the Cardenas case.

On the one hand, some believe that the negotiated sentence provided a great deal of information, which weakened the cartels on Mexico's north-eastern border, but others lament the unintended effect that the US intervention had on society.

"We all thought we were doing the right thing, but the truth is we did not anticipate violence, and that weighs heavily on us," a federal agent who was not authorized to speak publicly told The Dallas Morning News.

"We did not understand the dynamics in the field ... and many people died, many innocents," he said. (With information from Dallas Morning News / San Antonio Express News)