When DEA narcotics agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena was kidnapped and interrogated in 1985 by the leaders of Mexico’s Guadalajara Cartel, it was like a celebration.
They allegedly held him in a home crammed with spectators and wicked contributors, together with Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, then a foot soldier within the syndicate.
“You had a bunch of drug lords sitting round, freebasing cocaine and torturing this man,” Tiller Russell, director of the brand new Amazon docuseries “The Final Narc,” advised The Put up. “They had been blasted out of their minds, doing cannonballs on his chest, anally penetrating him with a broomstick, placing out cigarettes on his pores and skin.”
Additionally within the combine: corrupt Mexican politicians and, in response to sources within the sequence, CIA agent Felix Rodriguez — allegedly there to guard American pursuits in a tangled net of medicine, cash and soiled politics. Rodriguez has denied any involvement and claims that the allegations towards him are the results of a Cuban intelligence disinformation marketing campaign.
The sequence alleges a corruption so deep that Mexico’s then-president, Miguel de la Madrid, acquired kilos of cocaine as presents from traffickers. “Hector was surprised when he heard that,” Russell stated of DEA particular agent Hector Berrellez, who would later attempt to be taught precisely what occurred to Kiki. “However he talked to guys who hand-delivered the medication.”
“The Final Narc” chronicles Berrellez’s investigation. His story additionally impressed the Netflix drama sequence “Narcos: Mexico.”
Kiki was reportedly nabbed close to the American consulate in Guadalajara, on the behest of Rafael Caro Quintero and Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo, companions within the cartel.
As Berrellez advised The Put up, cartel leaders and American operatives “needed to search out out what [Kiki] knew about collusion between the cartel and the CIA” — and what he may spill upon his upcoming reassignment to the USA.
Informants advised Berrellez that Kiki was stripped to his jockey shorts, blindfolded and subjected to torture-filled interrogations that had been captured on audiotape.
These final two elements set off alarm bells for Berrellez, now 74. “Drug lords don’t blindfold; you recognize who they’re, and you’ll not survive,” he stated. Nor do they memorialize their interrogations: “That’s CIA methodology.”
Though Quintero, Carrillo and others had been arrested by Mexican authorities for his or her involvement by the point Berrellez started to analyze, he believed that it went deeper — maybe to the CIA.
Kiki was requested questions he couldn’t reply. “He knew they had been bringing in tons of cocaine, however he didn’t know that the CIA was concerned,” stated Berrellez.
The extra Kiki expressed ignorance, the more severe the torture.
When he handed out, a cartel-connected doctor injected his coronary heart with reviving prescription drugs. Then the torture continued. Lastly, after two days, his physique gave out and a thug put Kiki out of his distress, cracking him throughout the cranium with a metal rebar.
Kiki’s physique was quietly buried — then all hell broke unfastened.
“For 30 days, American brokers kicked down doorways,” stated Russell. “The cartel had his physique dug up” — by a crew of fellows, together with El Chapo, who specialised in such work — “and left Kiki the place he might be discovered.”
An investigation ensued however petered out till Berrellez signed on in 1989, spending 4 years and a few $12 million — a lot of which went towards shopping for info from snitches. He interviewed greater than 100 insiders, usually transferring them to the USA for cover. However, 23 sources had been murdered over the course of the investigation.
Within the sequence, Berrellez claims his efforts had been shut down by his DEA bosses after he pieced collectively particulars in regards to the CIA’s cocaine and gun operation. He maintains that the CIA functioned hand-in-glove with the cartel, allegedly utilizing drug cash to finance covert army operations, very similar to the Iran-Contra affair of the identical period. (CIA agent Rodriguez has denied being in Mexico on the time.)
“The Final Narc” alleges that some US political operatives considered Kiki as collateral injury in a bigger mission to guard America towards international enemies.
“Kiki ended up a sacrificial lamb led to the slaughter,” stated Russell. “He stumbled into one thing larger than he was.”
In the long run, Berrellez’s investigation led to no indictments. He was taken off the case, assigned to a desk job in DC and advised to not attain out to any of his sources. The investigation stays open.
However, as Berrellez says within the documentary, a “supposedly very high-up CIA official” advised him “all these items in regards to the CIA bringing in medication and the CIA being complicit in Kiki’s homicide that you simply allege” — and to “maintain quiet” about it. “Mum’s the phrase.”
Now retired from the DEA, Berrellez sounds disillusioned about his investigation for the DEA.
“I really feel like we had been all betrayed,” he advised The Put up, referring to himself and his informants. “I wasted my time and uncovered myself to all that hazard.”