“HEARST” for Borderland Beat

Carlos Caro Quintero, the brother of Rafael Caro Quintero, was arrested in Mexico City on charges of illegal firearm and drug possession. 

The Arrest

At 4:00 pm on February 6, 2023, Mexico City’s Head of Security, Omar Garcia Harfuch, announced on Twitter that: 

“This afternoon, colleagues from Mexico City Police arrested Carlos ‘N’, a member of a criminal group that operates in the north of the country, in Alcadia.  

They seized a vehicle without a license plate and a firearm.  

The CDMX Police are currently on high alert.”

According to later reports, the arrest took place at approximately 12:00 pm, on February 6, police officers noticed a gray Mercedes sedan vehicle driving without a license plate on Montes Auvernia Avenue. 

Montes Auvernia Ave is located in the Lomas de Chapultepec neighborhood in the Miguel Hidalgo district of Mexico City.

The police patrol car signaled for the grey vehicle to stop due to the lack of a license plate. 

The grey vehicle complied, pulling over to the side of the road. 

When officers spoke to the driver, they noticed that he had a firearm on him. The driver could not produce a firearm permit, which civilians are required to obtain in order to legally carry a firearm.

The officers then searched his vehicle and found an 8 kilo package of marijuana and 124 packages of cocaine. 

It was quickly surmised by the press that the Carlos ‘N’ in custody was actually Carlos Caro Quintero, the brother of Rafael Caro Quintero and Miguel Angel Caro Quintero, the former leaders of what is now known as the Caborca Cartel.

Carlos’s Family

Carlos Caro Quintero, much like his brothers Rafael and Miguel, is believed to be the son of Emilio Caro Payán and Hermelinda Quintero.

Emilio and Hermelinda are believed to have a total of 12 children together, which means there are a decent amount of RCQ siblings who have not been publicly accused of criminal activity.

Despite the countless articles about Rafael, the actual family tree of the Caro Quintero clan is more unclear than you might think. 

Based on the last names, Hermelinda is thought to be the sister of Juan Jose Quintero Payán, making Juan Jose the brother-in-law of Emilio, however there are some sources which allege Juan Jose is the brother of Emilio, whose last names – they allege – are actually Quintero Payán.

The historical cartel figure Lamberto Quintero Payán is believed to be the uncle of Rafael, Miguel and Carlos, although the differing reports on Emilio’s last name make it unclear whose brother Lamberto was.

The brothers Sajid Emilio Quintero Navidad, alias “El Cadete”, and Juan Pablo Quintero Navidad, alias “El 25”, are believed to cousins of Rafael, Miguel and Carlos. It is worth noting that El 25 is believed to still be involved in leading a part of the Caborca cartel.

José Gil Caro Quintero, alias “El Pelo Chino” is believed to be the nephew of Rafael Caro Quintero, but it is unclear which of Rafael’s 11 siblings is the parent of José Gil. However, other sources such as Zeta allege he is their cousin.

Rafael Caro Quintero (RCQ) was arrested last year, after 12 prior attempts that year which failed to catch him. The fateful attempt which proved a success occurred on July 15, 2022, in Choix, Sinaloa, after the US DEA bribed Sinaloa Cartel figures into “lowering the protection” they were giving him.

RCQ is currently going through the appeal (amparo) process against a potential extradition to the US.

On the other hand, Miguel Angel Caro Quintero was deported back to Mexico in 2019 after serving time in the US prison ADX Florence. Miguel Angel was sent there after being convicted on charges of organized crime in Colorado and conspiracy to smuggle marijuana in Arizona.

Miguel Angel was not re-arrested upon re-entry into Mexico and he is believed to currently be living as a free man. Recent narco banners calling out Caborca Cartel leadership have not mentioned Miguel Angel as someone who is involved in the organization so its likely that he retired from a life of organized crime.

The Transport & Security Measures

Currently, Mexico City police are said to be heavily guarding the facilities where Carlos Quintero is being held and specialty armored transport vehicles are being used to transfer him between locations. 

The newspaper El Sol de Mexico reports that Carlos Caro Quintero has previously been arrested in the states of Jalisco and Durango on charges of illegal possession of a firearm and disorderly conduct. 

Further details on these incidents, frustratingly, could not be found. 

Sources: Harfuch’s Statement, El Sol de Mexico, El Economista, Univision, LatinUS, AFN Tijuana, NMás