Mexican trafficker wanted by U.S. loses court appeal over extradition

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MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A Mexican drug trafficker who is one of the most wanted individuals by U.S. law enforcement has lost his final legal appeal against possible extradition to the United States, local media and authorities said on Saturday.

Mexican newspaper Reforma said Rafael Caro Quintero, who is wanted over the 1985 kidnapping and murder of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent Enrique Camarena, had his appeal rejected by a court in Mexico City on Friday.

A federal judicial official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the ruling against Caro, who went into hiding after his 2013 release from a Mexican prison, where he had spent the best part of three decades for Camarena's murder.

Caro has previously denied involvement in the killing of Camarena, a notorious crime which has cast a long shadow over security relations between the United States and Mexico.

U.S. prosecutors want to try Caro in the United States and are seeking his extradition. Caro is on the DEA's most wanted list and has a reward of $20 million on his head.

Reforma said judges at the Mexico City criminal court had by majority vote dismissed the veteran trafficker's appeal that the crimes for which the United States wants to prosecute him were strictly a matter for Mexican justice. One judge dissented.

(Reporting by Dave Graham; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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