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The real Rafael ‘Rafa’ Caro Quintero in Narcos: Mexico — Where is he now?

Rafa from Narcos photo
Rafael Caro Quintero in an interview after being released from prison. Pic credit: Proceso

In Narcos: Mexico, Rafael Caro Quintero or Rafa is responsible for revolutionizing the marijuana drug trade and was a key member of the Guadalajara cartel.

If you have finished binge-watching Season 1 of Narcos: Mexico, you are probably wondering what happened to the now 66-year-old drug bandit in 2018.

WARNING: Narcos: Mexico Season 1 spoilers ahead.  

As portrayed in the series, Rafa Quintero was arrested in Costa Rica in 1985 for the kidnapping and murder of Enrique ‘Kiki’ Camarena 

Caro Quintero was subsequently released from prison in 2013 after serving 28 years of a 40-year sentence.  

It was ruled that the crime should have been tried as a state offense, rather than in federal court; therefore his conviction was thrown out and the release has been described as a technicality. 

Rafael Caro Quintero has been on the run ever since and is currently on the FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list and the United States is offering $20 million for his capture.  

Did Rafa really kill two American tourists? 

Rafa is allegedly responsible for the murder of the two American tourists portrayed in Narcos: Mexico.

John Clay Walker and Alberto Radelat were reportedly tortured and murdered in 1985 on Rafa’s orders after being mistaken for undercover DEA agents. 

It is unclear whether he committed the murders personally or directed his “sicarios” to commit the crimes.

The ‘Rafa’ Caro Quintero full interview 

While on the run from authorities in 2016, Caro Quintero granted Proceso an interview. The former drug lord claims that he is no longer a narco and denied being responsible for the murder of Kiki Camarena. The 66-year-old apologized to the Mexican people, Camarena’s family, the DEA, the US government for his actions. 

Quintero described Sinaloa cartel drug lords Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera and Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada Garcia as his friends and admitted to meeting with them since his release but denied talking to them about illegal activities.

As reported by the Huffington Post, as of 2018 Caro Quintero lives in the mountains and never sleeps in the same place twice. He has not seen his wife Diana Espinoza in several months nor has he seen his four children with his first wife.

He continues to deny any involvement in the drug trade and continues to recant his confession to the murder of DEA agent Camarena.

Frank Yemi covers breaking news, TV, and pop culture for Monsters & Critics. He has been a professional writer for more than eight years and... read more
Frank Yemi


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