International Enforcement Law Reporter

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  • 20 May 2010
    Bruce Zagaris

    Partners in the War on Drugs: A Question of International Criminal Law

    On Wednesday, President Obama hosted his second State Dinner at the White House, honoring Mexico’s President Felipe Calderón. Prior to the engagement, Obama and Calderón held a joint press availability to discuss the common issues shared by the neighboring countries. In addition to the highly controversial Arizona Immigration Law, the two leaders spoke of their mutual desire to confront and curb the violent influence of the drug cartels. President Obama spoke to this critical shared interest, stating: President Calderón and I also reaffirmed our commitment to stand together against the drug cartels that have unleashed horrific violence in so many communities. Mr. President, you and the Mexican people have shown great resolve in a fight for the security and safety of your country. And as I’ve pledged to you before, Mexico can count on the United States as a full partner in this effort. As your partner, we’ll give you the support you need to prevail. Through increased law enforcement on our side of the border, we’re putting unprecedented pressure on those who traffic in drugs, guns, and people. We’re working to stem the southbound flow of American guns and money, which is why, for the first time, we are now screening 100 percent of southbound rail cargo. And guided by our new National Drug Control Strategy, we’re bringing new approaches to reducing the demand for drugs in our country. ... I said the first time I met President Calderón and have said ever since that I greatly admire his courage, his dedication, his tenacity in trying to deal with the drug traffickers and cartels that have created such a public safety crisis in many communities within Mexico. (Read the full transcript of remarks by the President here.) Bruce Zagaris, author of the recently released International White Collar Crime: Cases and Materials, dissects one example of the crackdown on these cartels and shows the wide-ranging legal collaboration necessary to achieve a drug trafficking indictment. -------- Mexico Extradites Alleged Drug King Quintero-Payan to U.S. by Bruce Zagaris Via INTERNATIONAL ENFORCEMENT LAW REPORTER Volume 26, Issue 7, July 2010, p. 271 On April 23, 2010, the U.S. Attorney’s offices of Houston and San Antonio announced the extradition from Mexico of alleged drug kingpin Juan Jose Quintero-Payan, 68. Quintero-Payan contested extradition for eight years. Mexico extradited him to San Antonio to answer a four-count indictment alleging his responsibility for $20 million in various cash movements. Although he would be eligible for a life sentence, Mexico stipulated as part of the extradition order that he would not be sentenced to life imprisonment. The indictment alleges Quintero was the head of a criminal enterprise whose operations included South America, Mexico, the United States and the Cayman Islands during the years of approximately 1978 to 2002, when the superseding indictment was filed.

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