Amado Carrillo Fuentes
Amado Carrillo Fuentes
|Born||Amado Carrillo Fuentes
December 17, 1956
Guamuchilito, Sinaloa, Mexico
|Died||July 3, 1997 (aged 40)
Mexico City, Mexico
|Other names||El Señor de los Cielos|
|Employer||Head of Juárez Cartel|
|Known for||Drug trafficking and weapons|
|Predecessor||Rafael Aguilar Guajardo|
|Successor||Vicente Carrillo Fuentes|
|Spouse(s)||Candaleria Leyva Cardenas|
|Children||Vicente Carrillo Leyva|
Amado Carrillo Fuentes (December 17, 1956 – July 3, 1997) was a Mexican drug lord who seized control of the Juárez Cartel after assassinating his boss Rafael Aguilar Guajardo. Amado Carrillo became known as "El Señor de Los Cielos" ("The Lord of the Skies"), because of the large fleet of jets he used to transport drugs. He was also known for laundering money via Colombia to finance his large fleet of airplanes.
He died in July 1997, in a Mexican hospital, after undergoing extensive plastic surgery to change his appearance. In his final days Carrillo was being tracked by Mexican and U.S. authorities.
Family relations and alliances
Carrillo was born to Walter Vicente Carillo Vega and Aurora Fuentes in Guamuchilito, Navolato, Sinaloa, Mexico. He was the first of six sons; the others were: Cipriano, Enrique B., Vicente, José Cruz, Enrique C., and Jorge. He also had five sisters: María Luisa, Berthila, Flor, Alicia, and Aurora.
These children were the nieces and nephews of Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo, a/k/a "Don Neto", the Guadalajara Cartel leader. Amado got his start in the drug business under the tutelage of his uncle Ernesto and later brought in his brothers, and eventually his son Vicente José Carrillo Leyva.
Carrillo's father died in April 1986. Carillo's oldest brother, Cipriano Carrillo Fuentes, died in 1989 under mysterious circumstances.
Initially, Carrillo was part of the Guadalajara Cartel, sent to Ojinaga, Chihuahua to oversee the cocaine shipments of his uncle, Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo ("Don Neto"), and to learn about border operations from Pablo Acosta Villarreal ("El Zorro de Ojinaga"; "The Ojinaga Fox") and Rafael Aguilar Guajardo. During his tenure, Carrillo reportedly built a multi-billion dollar drug empire. It was estimated that he may have made over US$25 billion in revenue in his career.
Death and conspiracy theories
The pressure to capture Carrillo intensified among U.S. and Mexican authorities,[when?][why?] and perhaps for this reason, Carrillo underwent facial plastic surgery and abdominal liposuction to change his appearance on July 3, 1997, at Santa Mónica Hospital in Mexico City. However, during the operation, he died of complications apparently caused either by a medication or a malfunctioning respirator. Two of Carrillo's bodyguards were in the operating room during the procedure. On November 7, 1997, the two physicians who performed the surgery on Fuentes were found dead, encased in concrete inside steel drums, with their bodies showing signs of torture.
Juárez Cartel after Carrillo
On the night of August 3, 1997, at around 9:30 p.m., four drug traffickers walked into a restaurant in Ciudad Juárez, pulled out their guns, and opened fire on five diners, killing them instantly. Police estimated that more than 100 bullet casings were found at the crime scene. According to a report issued by the Los Angeles Times, four men went to the restaurant carrying at least two AK-47 assault rifles while others stood at the doorstep. On their way out, the gunmen claimed another victim: Armando Olague, a prison official and off-duty law enforcement officer, who was gunned down outside the restaurant after he had walked from a nearby bar to investigate the shooting. Reportedly, Olague had run into the restaurant from across the street with a gun in his hand to check out the commotion. It was later determined that Olague was also a known lieutenant of the Juarez cartel. Mexican authorities declined to comment on the motives behind the killing, stating the shootout was not linked to the death of Amado Carrillo Fuentes. Nonetheless, it was later stated that the perpetrators were gunmen of the Tijuana Cartel. Although confrontations between narcotraficantes were commonplace in Ciudad Juárez, they rarely occurred in public places. What happened in the restaurant threatened to usher in a new era of border crime in the city.
In Ciudad Juárez, the PGR seized warehouses they believed the cartel to store weapons and cocaine; they also seized over 60 properties all over Mexico belonging to Carrillo, and began an investigation into his dealings with police and government officials. Officials also froze bank accounts amounting to $10 billion belonging to Carrillo. In April 2009, Mexican authorities arrested Carillo's son, Vicente Carrillo Leyva.
Carrillo was given a large and expensive funeral in Guamuchilito, Sinaloa. In 2006, Governor Eduardo Bours asked the federal government to tear down Carrillo's mansion in Hermosillo, Sonora. The mansion, dubbed "The Palace of a Thousand and One Nights", although still standing, remains unoccupied.
In popular culture
- In El Chapo, the 2017 Netflix and Univision TV series about the life of Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán, Fuentes is portrayed by Rodrigo Abed.
- El Señor de los Cielos (2013), El Señor de los Cielos 2 (2014), El Señor de los Cielos 3 (2015), and El Señor de los Cielos 4, aired as part of Telemundo's nighttime programming, stars the Mexican actor Rafael Amaya as Aurelio Casillas (a fictionalized version of Amado Carrillo Fuentes).
- Getty, Mark (February 2004). "Mexico's Forgotten Disappeared: The Victims of the Border Narco Bloodbath". Frontera NorteSur. Retrieved 2010-09-25.
- González, Héctor A. (February 21, 2007). "Los prófugos del salinato". El Diario (in Spanish). Retrieved 2010-09-25.
- Dillon, Sam (November 7, 1997). "Drug Barons and Plastic Surgeons: Who's Dead, Who's Hiding?". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-02-23.
- Poppas, Terrence E. "Cast of Characters: Amado Carrillo Fuentes". Drug Lord. Archived from the original on 2009-10-11. Retrieved 2012-02-23.
- "DEA Map of Juarez Cartel operations". Frontline. PBS. February 1997. Retrieved 2012-02-23.
- Poppa, Terrance (2009). "Amado Carrillo Fuentes". Archived from the original on 2009-10-11. Retrieved 2009-08-18.
- DEA Congressional Testimony, August 8, 1995 Archived May 14, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
- Moore, Molly (July 12, 1997). "Drug lord goes home in coffin". The Washington Post.
- Moore, Molly (7 November 1997). "Top Mexican Surgeons Found Entombed in Concrete Drums". The Tech. The Washington Post. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
- Times Wire Services (5 August 1997). "Gunmen Kill 6 People at Ciudad Juarez Restaurant". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 30 June 2012.
- 2 September 1997. "More gunfire in Ciudad Juarez leaves at least three dead in bar". The Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 30 June 2012.
- Sharp, John (July 1998). "Crime: Line of Fire" (PDF). Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Retrieved 30 June 2012.
- "Serían los Arellano responsables de las seis ejecuciones en Ciudad Juárez". La Jornada (in Spanish). 6 August 1997. Retrieved 30 June 2012.
- Phil Gunson (July 17, 1997). "This is the face of Amado Carrillo Fuentes". The Guardian. Retrieved 2010-12-22.
- Mexico catches drug baron as U.S. tightens border Reuters, April 2, 2009.
- Marizc, Michel (April 4, 2006). "Narco-Power". Border Reporter.
- Infante, Victoria (6 July 2012). "Rafael Amaya está listo para ser el 'Señor de los Cielos'". The Huffington Post (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 19 January 2013. Retrieved 18 January 2013.