Extradited Zetas Cartel Leader Appears in Texas Court

Extradited Zetas Cartel Leader Appears in Texas Court

MCALLEN, TEXAS–Ranking Zetas Cartel leader Ivan “El Taliban” Caballero-Velasquez was brought to a federal court hearing today following a 2008 indictment over drug trafficking and money laundering charges. Though his trial is still pending, the event brought attention to emerging hints that Mexico may be snubbing the United States in selective extradition agreements when prosecuting drug lords.

The United States was recently denied the opportunity to extradite recently-captured Sinaloa Federation kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán in February. Breitbart Texas border security expert Sylvia Longmire sees an interesting contrast, given Mexico’s selective willingness to allow American prosecution among high-value detainees.

“Caballero-Velasquez was considerably high up on the Zetas food chain, and was instrumental in initiating an organizational split within the cartel,” Longmire said. “Why the disparities in how these drug lords are being handled?”

Longmire added, “[T]he contradiction of extraditing El Taliban and keeping El Chapo may be showing some hints of hypocrisy on [Mexican President] Peña Nieto’s part–or more proof of a deliberate snub to the US government by not extraditing Guzmán.”

Longmire reasons that Mexico’s selective extradition policy, particularly in the case of “El Taliban,” may not advance the nation’s effort to gather valuable intelligence itself, nor take advantage of setting “a good example for the government to demonstrate their commitment to keeping him in prison and trying him transparently in a court of law.”

Follow Logan Churchwell on Twitter @LCChurchwell