Secrecy enshrouds ‘El Güero’ Palma’s arrival in Mexico today
MEXICO CITY — Drug lord Hector Luis Palma Salazar, aka “El Güero,” is expected to be repatriated by the U.S. to Mexico today Wednesday June 15.
But the logistics of Palma’s arrival in his native country, and whether he will walk free or remain in authorities’ custody, remain unclear.
Palma, a former associate of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, was expected to be transported from the Southern California border area around San Diego and Tijuana aboard an a King Air jet from the Mexican Attorney General’s Office (PGR), according to RadioFormula. Palma’s destination reportedly is Mexico City, where federal authorities are searching for old cases against the drug lord that might still be active, in hopes of keeping him behind bars.
It is expected that the co-founder of Pacific Cartel will arrive at the hangar of the PGR at Mexico City International Airport (AICM) between 4 and 8 p.m. Wednesday, RadioFormula reported.
Palma was released on June 11 from the Atwater high-security prison in central California’s San Joaquin Valley after serving a sentence for drug trafficking. He had been extradited from Mexico in 2007.
Palma was arrested by Mexican authorities in 2002 under a provisional warrant issued by US and served five years in a Mexican prison under the order, while his extradition was being processed. After extradition, Palma pleaded guilty in a U.S. court and was sentenced to 16 years in prison for transporting 50 kilos of cocaine.
On June 11, authorities of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons delivered Palma to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (ICE). On Wednesday, Mexican authorities were scheduled to receive Palma at the border as they planned to whisk him away to Mexico City.
Local authorities in the Tijuana area were hoping to prevent any chance that Palma would remain in that area because of long-simmering grudges against the drug lord held by former enemies in rival cartels. Security was tight Wednesday at the San Diego-Tijuana border crossing where Palma was expected to be handed over.