(AP) — An appeals court in Mexico has overturned the acquittal of 1990s drug lord Hector “El Güero” Palma, staving off an international embarrassment had he walked free.
A lower court had ordered Palma freed in April. But prosecutors said Tuesday the appeals court overturned the acquittal, ruling the organized crime case against Palma was not equivalent to trying him twice for the same offense as the lower court held.
Palma was taken to Mexico’s maximum security Altiplano prison after the ruling. Mexico wants to avoid a situation like that of drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero, who was freed improperly eight years ago from a 40-year sentence for the torture-murder of a DEA agent in 1985.