What really happened with the death of Cardinal Posadas Ocampo? “El Chapo” Guzmán gives his version

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This May 24 marks 31 years since one of the crimes that shocked Mexico, that of the archbishop of the archdiocese of Guadalajara, Juan Jesús Posadas Ocampo.

On May 24, 1993, Cardinal Juan Jesús Posadas Ocampo was brutally assassinated at the Guadalajara International Airport. His tragic death shocked Mexico and generated a series of theories about the circumstances surrounding his assassination, some of which persist to this day.

This year marks 31 years since that fateful day, and his legacy and the unanswered questions remain present in the country’s collective memory. As a result, the newspaper Milenio revealed a letter where one of the alleged involved, Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, former leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, gave his version of the facts.

What was the official version of the assassination?

Posadas Ocampo, who was born on November 10, 1926, in Salvatierra, Guanajuato, was a prominent figure within the Mexican Catholic Church. Throughout his ecclesiastical career, he distinguished himself for his dedication and commitment to faith and humanitarian values.

He was appointed bishop of Tijuana in 1970 and then archbishop of Guadalajara in 1987, where he continued his pastoral work until his death.

The cardinal’s assassination occurred amid a context of increasing violence related to drug trafficking in Mexico.

The official version offered by the authorities at the time assured that Posadas Ocampo was a victim of crossfire between the Tijuana Cartel and the Sinaloa Cartel. According to this version, the cardinal’s assassins mistook him for Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, due to a supposed physical resemblance and the type of car in which the cardinal was traveling.

However, this explanation has been robustly questioned by researchers, journalists, and members of the Church, who argue that the official investigation left many unanswered questions.

Various testimonies and theories suggest that the assassination of Posadas Ocampo could have been linked to sensitive information he had about drug trafficking activities and possible connections between these groups and high-level authorities. Some versions even suggest that the religious was deeply investigating these links, which could have motivated his assassination.

One of the main criticisms of the official version is that Posadas Ocampo was wearing clerical clothing at the time of the attack, which should have been a clear indication of his identity and position. Additionally, the cardinal received 14 shots at close range, which, according to some analysts, suggests a deliberate execution rather than an accident in a shootout.

For years, relatives and close associates of the cardinal have insisted that his assassination was planned and have requested a more thorough and transparent investigation. In 2006, the case was reopened by the then Attorney General’s Office (PGR, today FGR), but to date, no definitive conclusion has been reached, nor have all those responsible for the crime been identified.

Beyond the controversies surrounding his death, Cardinal Juan Jesús Posadas Ocampo is remembered by many in Mexico for his work in favor of human rights and his fight against discrimination and violence. During his work as archbishop, Posadas Ocampo earned the respect of the faithful and colleagues, who recognize his dedication and commitment to social justice.

El Chapo Guzmán’s version

Joaquín Guzmán Loera, better known as “El Chapo,” accuses the Mexican government of having used him as a scapegoat for the assassination of the archbishop of Guadalajara.

According to information from Milenio, the Mexican capo wrote a letter in which he tells his version of the facts. The father of the “Chapitos” details that on that day he was at the Guadalajara airport on his way to the beach. According to his account, while he was picking up his luggage from the car, a crossfire broke out.

Guzmán claims to have left his belongings and identification at the site while seeking refuge. According to his version, the Mexican government used his abandoned documents to incriminate him.

El Chapo maintains that it was from that incident that the Government of Mexico began to build his image as one of the leaders of drug trafficking in the country. Guzmán asserts that the official narrative unjustly implicates him in the cardinal’s assassination, attributed to a confrontation between hitmen from the Arellano Félix and his own organization.

It should be noted that during his testimony, Vicente Zambada Niebla, known as “El Vicentillo,” corroborated the participation of the Arellano Félix in the cardinal’s assassination and stated that Mexicans were unaware of Guzmán Loera before that event.

In January 2017, the U.S. government recognized that the struggles for control of drug trafficking routes, such as Tijuana, between the Sinaloa and Arellano Félix cartels, led to the confrontation that resulted in the death of Cardinal Posadas Ocampo. As a result of this incident, Guzmán became the subject of an intensive search that culminated in his capture after temporarily fleeing to Guatemala.

This letter was sent to Judge Brian Cogan, who is handling his case, as El Chapo seeks a new trial arguing that he was the victim of a conspiracy to make him the main culprit of criminal events that shook the country.

It should be noted that journalist Anabel Hernández also points out that the assassination of Cardinal Juan Jesús Posadas Ocampo would have been a state crime.

The death of Posadas Ocampo continues to be an emblematic case that underscores the complexity and challenges of the fight against violence and impunity in Mexico.

Source: Infobae