JammedUp News


Imprisoned Sinaloa Cartel leader Dámaso López Nuñez files appeal which could spur release over human rights violations

February 6, 2018  |  Posted by: Michael Falzarano
Imprisoned Sinaloa Cartel leader Dámaso López Nuñez files appeal which could spur release over human rights violations

Are you in a legal jam? Find a Lawyer, Bail Bondsman or Private Investigator on JammedUp.

Imprisoned Mexican drug lord Dámaso López Nuñez, alias “El Licenciado,” has filed an appeal, which could result in his release from custody over alleged human rights violations committed during criminal proceedings instituted against the Sinaloa Cartel boss.

Mexico’s largest news outlet El Universal reported that a federal court in Mexico City will review an Amparo appeal claiming that prosecutors had possibly violated the rights of López Núñez by infringing on his right to mount a sufficient legal defense against organized-crime-related charges.

The appellate court will reportedly review evidence that Mexican prosecutors had repeatedly denied and prevented his legal counsel from attending court hearings throughout the legal process to prosecute the alleged kingpin.

As per El Universal: “The Judges of the Sixth District Court of Amparo in Criminal Matters  will review the case; if the collegiate tribunal rule that Mexican authorities acted outside the legal boundaries, the court could direct the reinstatement of the procedural process or even order the immediate release of Dámaso López Nuñez”

Mexican drug lord Dámaso López after his arrest in May 2017

Additionally, López Nuñez also filed a separate appeal claiming officials at the federal facility in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, where he is jailed, violated his human rights by prohibiting all communication with other prisoners, his family, and his defense attorneys, according to Zeta.

Mexican authorities have blamed the nefarious leader of the Sinaloa Cartel faction known as “Los Damaso” for much of the violence that has engulfed the Mexican states of Sinaloa and Baja California since the arrest and subsequent extradition of top kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, to the U.S.

He purportedly arranged to have Ivan Archivaldo Guzman Salazar and Jesus Alfredo Guzman Salazar, the sons of “El Chapo’  along with Guzman’s longtime partner Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada executed in a failed hit in the mountains of Sinaloa in February 2017.

“El Licenciado” was the one-time top lieutenant of “El Chapo” who remains in custody at a federal lockup in Manhattan awaiting trial for running a transnational criminal enterprise.

López Núñez was deemed as the possible successor to “El Chapo.”

However, an internal division soon developed into all-out war following Guzman’s capture, between the faction led by Dámaso López and the sons of “El Chapo,” backed by “El Mayo” Zambada.

López Nuñez, who graduated with a law degree from the Unversity of Sinaloa earning him the moniker “El Licenciado” or “The Bachelor,” was arrested in May 2017 in an affluent neighborhood in Mexico City.

Lopez Nunez was the top lieutenant of imprisoned Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman

The capture of López Núñez forced his son Damaso Lopez Serrano alias “El Mini Lic” to flee Mexico for fear of his life, prompting his self-surrender to U.S. Drug Enforcement Agents at the border checkpoint in Calexico, California in July 2017.

Earlier this month, Lopez Serrano pled guilty to charges in a drug trafficking indictment in the District Court of San Diego as part of a cooperating agreement with federal prosecutors. He is believed to be the highest ranking Sinaloa Cartel operative ever to cooperate with U.S. authorities.

Lopez Serrano’s decision to surrender occurred a month after Sinaloa state police discovered the bullet-riddled body of his uncle and local politician 49-year-old Fernando Gaxiola Noriega on a dirt road connecting the Mexico 15 International Highway to the Antorchista colony in southern Culiacan.

The surrender of the drug lord’s son was immediately followed up by the apprehension of the brother of “El Licenciado.”

Álvaro López Núñez was arrested by DEA agents at the immigration office in Nogales, Sonora, as he attempted to enter the United States in September 2017.

Damaso Lopez Serrano the son of Sinaloa Cartel leader Damaso Lopez Nunez, pleaded guilty in early January to drug trafficking charges

During a September court appearance in San Diego where he was charged with trafficking hundreds of kilograms of cocaine to the U.S. a public defender told the U.S. District Judge that  Álvaro López Núñez sought asylum in the U.S. because “his family is being hunted down and killed,” over the dispute for control of the Sinaloa Cartel with the sons of “El Chapo.”

U.S. authorities have submitted an official extradition request for Dámaso López Nuñez, who is wanted for an indictment in the Eastern District of Virginia for Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances Intended for Importation.

A previous report by Milenio cited government sources, who suggested López Núñez would be willing to reach an “agreement” with the United States government for his extradition “as soon as possible” due to fears he could be killed in a Mexican prison.

Get the latest news from the world of crime