Héctor “El Güero” Palma, alleged founder of the Sinaloa Drug Cartel. Photo: Google

By KELIN DILLON

On Saturday, May 1, purported founding member of Mexico’s Sinaloa Drug Cartel Héctor Luis Palma Salazar, better known as “El Güero,” was acquitted of all charges relating to drug trafficking by Jalisco’s Second District Court of Federal Criminal Proceedings, and ordered immediately released.

Known for being a close confidant of notorious drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera, Palma is set to be released from the Altiplano prison in the State of Mexico (Edoméx), unless any other judicial authority brings forth further charges against him.

Mexico’s Secretariat of Foreign Relations is reportedly set to consult with the U.S. Department of Justice on whether to extradite Palma back to the United States, where he previously served nine years in prison prior to his five-year stint in Altiplano.

Palma allegedly previously served as a lieutenant of Sinaloa Cartel founder Miguel Ángel “El Padrino” Félix Gallardo, alongside Guzmán during the 1980s, but found himself in the midst of intense personal violence following his original boss’ imprisonment, after he and El Chapo took control of El Padrino’s Sinaloa territory.

El Güero’s wife, Guadalupe Lejía, allegedly cheated on the Sinaloa boss with Venezuelan hitman Rafael Clavel, who then in turn took revenge on Palma for his purported theft of some-300 kilos of cocaine by beheading his wife and sending the dismembered body part in a refrigerated box to Palma, as well as murdering his children and throwing their bodies off of a bridge.

The bloody familial slaughter, as well as his wife’s betrayal, reportedly sent Palma into a tailspin, leading to El Güero’s massacre of 14 people he deemed responsible, including Clavel and two of his sons.

Palma was finally arrested in June of 1995 in Guadalajara, Jalisco, and has since been incarcerated in multiple prisons between Mexico and the United States until his arrival in Altiplano in 2016.

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