US probing claims that CIA operative, DEA official betrayal led to murder of agent: report

The U.S. Justice Department is investigating explosive new allegations that a Central Intelligence Agency operative and Drug Enforcement Administration official played a role in the 1985 abduction, torture and murder of DEA agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, a report claims.

The renewed focus into the grisly killing of Camarena – who is featured in the Netflix series “Narcos: Mexico” – is based on recent statements witnesses provided to U.S. agents and prosecutors, according to USA Today. The Justice Department reportedly started re-examining the case in 2019, two years after a federal court tossed convictions against two suspects.

“I want the truth to be out,” Mika Camarena, Enrique’s widow, told the outlet. “At this point, nothing would surprise me.”

The DEA and Camarena had been utilizing a series of wiretaps to make sizeable drug busts inside Mexico. One of them cost Mexican drug lord Rafael Caro-Quintero $2.5 billion.

Enrique "Kiki" Camarena, the DEA agent murdered in Mexico in 1985.

Enrique "Kiki" Camarena, the DEA agent murdered in Mexico in 1985. (AP)

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In February 1985, as Camarena left to meet his wife for lunch outside the U.S. consulate in Guadalajara, he was surrounded by officers from the DFS, a Mexican intelligence agency that no longer exists.

"Back in the middle 1980s, the DFS, their main role was to protect the drug lords," former DEA agent Hector Berrellez, who led the investigation into Camarena's murder, told Fox News in 2013.

The DFS agents then took Camarena, blindfolded and held at gunpoint, to one of Caro-Quintero's haciendas five miles away.

For more than 30 hours, Caro-Quintero and others interrogated Camarena and crushed his skull, jaw, nose and cheekbones with a tire iron. They broke his ribs, drilled a hole in his head and tortured him with a cattle prod. As Camarena lay dying, Caro-Quintero ordered a cartel doctor to keep the U.S. agent alive.

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The 37-year-old’s body was found dumped on a nearby ranch about a month later. Caro-Quintero was convicted in the kidnapping and murder but was mistakenly released from a Mexican prison in 2013. He is now on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitive’s list – with a reward of up to $20 million for information leading to his capture.

Three former Mexican police officers who claimed to have once worked as security guards for cartel kingpins told USA Today they informed U.S. investigators that a DEA official and CIA operative were present at meetings where Camarena’s abduction was being discussed. They also claimed the DEA official accepted cartel money.

One of the officers, George Godoy, said he spoke to DEA officials about the killing in April 2019 and that the U.S. government has given him and the other cops immunity in exchange for their accounts.

“There is too many ghosts behind me,” Godoy told USA Today. “We need to make justice.”

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Mika Camarena, in an interview with USA Today, also said U.S. prosecutors and agents told her that they are investigating accounts allegedly tying the DEA official and CIA operative to her husband’s death, but did not elaborate.

The Justice Department, when asked by Fox News to respond to the allegations, declined to comment.

The undated file photo distributed by the Mexican government shows Rafael Caro-Quintero. The U.S. has placed him on the FBI's Most Wanted Fugitives list.

The undated file photo distributed by the Mexican government shows Rafael Caro-Quintero. The U.S. has placed him on the FBI's Most Wanted Fugitives list. (AP)

It’s not the first time the American intelligence assets have been accused of having a role in Camarena’s demise.

"In (Camarena’s) interrogation room, I was told by Mexican authorities, that CIA operatives were in there. Actually conducting the interrogation. Actually taping Kiki,” Phil Jordan, former director of the DEA's El Paso Intelligence Center, told Fox News in 2013.

Eventually, prosecutors did obtain tapes of Camarena's torture and murder.

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"The CIA was the source. They gave them to us," Berrellez told Fox News. "Obviously, they were there. Or at least some of their contract workers were there."

A CIA spokesperson previously has told Fox News that “it’s ridiculous to suggest that the CIA had anything to do with the murder of a U.S. federal agent or the escape of his killer.”

Fox News’ William La Jeunesse and Lee Ross contributed to this report.