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No judge has ordered release of Héctor "El Güero" Palma Salazar, federal court confirms

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“MX” for Borderland Beat; TY to “Redlogarythm”

Hector ‘El Güero’ Palma in 2016

The Federal Judiciary Council (CJF) confirmed that no federal judge has ordered the release of drug kingpin Héctor “El Güero” Palma Salazar, founding member of the Sinaloa Cartel.


Since yesterday afternoon, a document circulated on social media claiming that the head of Federal Social Readaptation Center No. 1 (‘Altiplano’), Mexico’s maximum-security prison, had ordered Palma’s release. The authenticity of this document is in question.


The document indicated that Palma – a native of Mocorito, Sinaloa – was convicted of organized crime involvement. It also said that the order was sent to various prosecutors and attorneys’ offices throughout the country, with the purpose of verifying if Palma has other pending charges.


Federal authorities confirmed that Palma has not yet been convicted of any charges in Mexico.

It is worth nothing that Palma is still under investigation for the murder of two police officers in Nayarit, but investigators confirmed that this investigation is still its preliminary stages (Spanish: desahogo judicial). This means the prosecution is still gathering evidence against Palma and vetting them with a judge prior to issuing a formal arrest warrant. Had the release order been real, this investigation would not had been enough to keep him in prison.


A few weeks ago, Palma’s sister-in-law and niece were found dead after they had been missing since December 2019. If the person(s) who masterminded the attack hold a grudge against Palma, a release will likely put him in immediate danger.


Background

Palma was born in La Noria de Abajo, municipality of Mocorito, Sinaloa, where he met Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo, (‘The Godfather’), who recruited him as a hitman. He eventually met Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán and both became business partners.

In 1995, he was arrested while heading to a wedding on his private jet. While flying his jet suffered engine problems and he had to do a forced landing near the Jalisco and Nayarit state borders. His arrest confirmed what many Mexicans had long known: in Mexico, the police are for sale and drug lords are purchasing them. When Palma was arrested, most of his entourage were active members of the Federal Judicial Police (PJF).


Palma was imprisoned at the Federal Social Readaptation Center No. 2 (“Puente Grande”), the infamous prison where El Chapo escaped in 2001. In Mexico, Palma won several appeals and had his charges dropped multiple times.


However, in 2007, Palma was extradited to the U.S. and sentenced for his drug trafficking involvement. He was deported back to Mexico in 2016 and was re-arrested by Mexican authorities who were waiting for him at the border crossing. 

Sources: Excelsior; El Sol de Mexico; Milenio; Proyecto Puente



Source: http://www.borderlandbeat.com/2021/02/no-judge-has-ordered-release-of-hector.html



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