Héctor Luis Palma Salazar

Last updated
Héctor Luis Palma Salazar
Hector Luis Palma Salazar.jpg
Born
Héctor Luis Palma Salazar

(1940-12-25) 25 December 1940 (age 78)
Residence Altiplano Prison, Mexico
Other namesEl Güero (The Light Skinned)
Occupation Drug lord
Employer Sinaloa Cartel
Known for drug trafficking
Height1.72 m (5 ft 8 in)
Spouse(s)Guadalupe Leija Serrano
Partner(s) Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo, Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán
Notes
First arrest: 1978 in USA
Second arrest: June 23, 1995 in Mexico

Héctor Luis Palma Salazar (a.k.a.: "El Güero Palma") is a former Mexican drug trafficker and leader of the Sinaloa Cartel alongside Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán. [1] Palma was arrested on June 23, 1995 and extradited to the United States, where he served a jail sentence until June 2016. He was then deported back to Mexico in June 2016, where he was charged with a double murder in 1995, in Nayarit.

Illegal drug trade global black market

The illegal drug trade or drug trafficking is a global black market dedicated to the cultivation, manufacture, distribution and sale of drugs that are subject to drug prohibition laws. Most jurisdictions prohibit trade, except under license, of many types of drugs through the use of drug prohibition laws.

The Sinaloa Cartel, also known as the Guzmán-Loera Organization, the Pacific Cartel, the Federation and the Blood Alliance, is an international drug trafficking, money laundering, and organized crime syndicate established during the mid-1980’s. The cartel is primarily based in the city of Culiacán, Sinaloa, with operations in the Mexican states of Baja California, Durango, Sonora, and Chihuahua. The 'Federation' was partially splintered when the Beltrán-Leyva brothers broke apart from the Sinaloa Cartel.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Contents

Early life and career

Jesus Héctor Luis Palma Salazar was born in Noria de Abajo, Mocorito, Sinaloa, Mexico in the mid 1940s. [2] He began his life of crime as a car thief and eventually worked as a gunman for Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo, under the umbrella of the Guadalajara Cartel. [3] Palma rose up the ranks, and along with Eduardo "El Lobito" Retamoza and Gallardo, became a co-leader of the cartel. He was associated with Joaquin Guzman Loera (El Chapo)

Mexico country in the southern portion of North America

Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico. Covering almost 2,000,000 square kilometres (770,000 sq mi), the nation is the fifth largest country in the Americas by total area and the 13th largest independent state in the world. With an estimated population of over 120 million people, the country is the eleventh most populous state and the most populous Spanish-speaking state in the world, while being the second most populous nation in Latin America after Brazil. Mexico is a federation comprising 31 states and Mexico City, a special federal entity that is also the capital city and its most populous city. Other metropolises in the state include Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, Toluca, Tijuana and León.

Carjacking is a robbery in which the item taken over is a motor vehicle.

Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo, commonly referred to by his alias El Padrino, is a convicted Mexican drug lord who formed the Guadalajara Cartel in the 1980s, and controlled almost all of the drug trafficking in Mexico and the corridors along the Mexico–United States border.

Following the loss of a large cocaine shipment, which was blamed on Retamoza and Palma, El Lobito was killed, and Palma was spared. Following Retamoza's death, Palma contacted and created an alliance with Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzman of the rival Sinaloa Cartel. [4]

Cocaine chemical compound

Cocaine, also known as coke, is a strong stimulant mostly used as a recreational drug. It is commonly snorted, inhaled as smoke, or dissolved and injected into a vein. Mental effects may include loss of contact with reality, an intense feeling of happiness, or agitation. Physical symptoms may include a fast heart rate, sweating, and large pupils. High doses can result in very high blood pressure or body temperature. Effects begin within seconds to minutes of use and last between five and ninety minutes. Cocaine has a small number of accepted medical uses such as numbing and decreasing bleeding during nasal surgery.

Palma splintered from the group, which was handed down to Gallardo's nephews in Tijuana, who later formed the Tijuana Cartel (also known as the Arellano Félix Organization). [5] Palma, along with a Venezuelan trafficker named Rafael Enrique Clavel, the one time boyfriend of Palma's sister Minerva Palma, began operating their own cartel.

Tijuana City in Baja California, Mexico

Tijuana is the largest city of both Baja California State and the Baja Peninsula. It is part of the San Diego–Tijuana transborder urban agglomeration and the larger Southern California megalopolis. As the 6th-largest city in Mexico and center of the 6th-largest metro area in Mexico, Tijuana exerts a strong influence in education and politics – across Mexico, in transportation, culture and art – across both Californias, and in manufacturing and as a migration hub – across the North American continent. Currently one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in Mexico, Tijuana maintains global city status. As of 2015, the city of Tijuana had a population of 1,641,570.

Tijuana Cartel Criminal organization based in Tijuana, Mexico

The Tijuana Cartel or Arellano-Félix Organization is a Mexican drug cartel based in Tijuana. The cartel once was described as "one of the biggest and most violent criminal groups in Mexico." However, since the 2006 Sinaloa Cartel incursion in Baja California and the fall of the Arellano-Félix brothers, the Tijuana Cartel has been reduced to a few cells. In 2016, the organization has become known as Cartel Tijuana Nueva Generación and has begun to align itself under the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, along with Beltrán Leyva Organization (BLO) to create an anti-Sinaloa alliance, in which the Jalisco New Generation Cartel heads, creating a possible powershift in Mexico.

Venezuela Republic in northern South America

Venezuela, officially the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, is a country on the northern coast of South America, consisting of a continental landmass and a large number of small islands and islets in the Caribbean Sea. The capital and largest urban agglomeration is the city of Caracas. It has a territorial extension of 916,445 km2. The continental territory is bordered on the north by the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Colombia, Brazil on the south, Trinidad and Tobago to the north-east and on the east by Guyana. With this last country, the Venezuelan government maintains a claim for Guayana Esequiba over an area of 159,542 km2. For its maritime areas, it exercises sovereignty over 71,295 km2 of territorial waters, 22,224 km2 in its contiguous zone, 471,507 km2 of the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean under the concept of exclusive economic zone, and 99,889 km2 of continental shelf. This marine area borders those of 13 states. The country has extremely high biodiversity and is ranked seventh in the world's list of nations with the most number of species. There are habitats ranging from the Andes Mountains in the west to the Amazon basin rain-forest in the south via extensive llanos plains, the Caribbean coast and the Orinoco River Delta in the east.

First arrest

In 1978, Palma was arrested in Arizona for drug trafficking and sentenced to 8 years in a U.S. prison. Upon his release, he discovered his wife, Guadalupe Leija Serrano, had run off with Clavel and taken her and Palma's two kids.

Arizona state of the United States of America

Arizona is a state in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the Western and the Mountain states. It is the sixth largest and the 14th most populous of the 50 states. Its capital and largest city is Phoenix. Arizona shares the Four Corners region with Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico; its other neighboring states are Nevada and California to the west and the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California to the south and southwest.

Clavel forced Guadalupe to withdraw US$7 million from a bank account, and later decapitated her and shipped her head back to Palma. The two children, Jesús and Nataly, were taken to Venezuela and dropped off a bridge named Puente de la Concordia, on the border with Colombia.

Clavel soon afterward went to work for Gallardo in the Tijuana Cartel. In retaliation, Palma executed Gallardo's lawyer and Clavel's three children. [6]

Palma returned to trafficking, this time within the Sinaloa Cartel, sharing leadership with Adrián Gómez González and Joaquín Guzmán Loera (El Chapo). [7]

Second arrest

Palma was arrested in June 23, 1995, after a 12-seat Lear jet he was flying on to attend a wedding party crash-landed. He was traveling from Ciudad Obregón, Sonora to Guadalajara, Jalisco when the jet was diverted and unable to locate a new landing strip in time. Palma survived the crash-landing and was later arrested by Mexican military officers; he originally evaded capture by traveling in full uniform as a Federal Judicial Police (PJF) officer complete with identification and an armed caravan of PJF personnel. [8]

After serving 9 years in a U.S. maximum-security prison, Palma was extradited back to Mexico in June 2016, where he was charged with a double murder of police officers in 1995, in Nayarit. [9] [10] He is currently incarcerated at the Altiplano Prison, near Mexico City.

Kingpin Act sanction

On 2 June 2003, the United States Department of the Treasury sanctioned Palma under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (sometimes referred to simply as the "Kingpin Act"), for his involvement in drug trafficking along with six other international criminals and three entities. [11] The act prohibited U.S. citizens and companies from doing any kind of business activity with him, and virtually froze all his assets in the U.S. [12]

Corruption

Palma had managed to insert himself into the depths of the Mexican Federal Judicial Police (PJF), evading detection by posing as one in complete uniform, with identification, and traveling in a heavily armed caravan of PJF officers. It was later discovered he was able to evade capture by staying at the home of the local police commander. [8]

The corruption within the police force has been documented to have spread to the judicial system. By bribing judges, the Sinaloa Cartel has evaded prosecution repeatedly. In 2004, 18 men were arrested in possession of 28 machine guns, 2 hand guns, 223 magazines, 10k rounds of ammunition, 12 grenade launchers, 18 hand grenades, smoke grenades, and bulletproof vests. The men were set free by Judge Jose Luis Gomez Martinez, who stated there was no evidence they were part of any criminal organization. [13]

See also

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References

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  6. Gray, Mike (2000). Drug Crazy: How We Got Into This Mess and How We Can Get Out. Routledge. p. 136. ISBN   0-415-92647-5.
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  8. 1 2 Bailey, John J. (2001). Organized Crime and Democratic Governability: Mexico and the U.S.-Mexican Borderlands. University of Pittsburgh Press. p. 131. ISBN   0-8229-5758-2.
  9. "PGR colaboró con Fiscalía de Nayarit en investigación contra 'El Güero' Palma". Excelsior (in Spanish). June 16, 2016.
  10. "'El Güero' Palma arrives in Matamoros, Tamaulipas". El Universal. 15 June 2016.
  11. "DESIGNATIONS PURSUANT TO THE FOREIGN NARCOTICS KINGPIN DESIGNATION ACT" (PDF). United States Department of the Treasury. 15 May 2014. p. 1. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 May 2013. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  12. "An overview of the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act" (PDF). United States Department of the Treasury. 2009. p. 1. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 May 2014. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
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