Most defense lawyers for Mexican drug traffickers have shortened life spans – Americo Delgado outlived most


The striking thing about the fate of Mexican defense attorney Americo Delgado, who defended various Mexican drug traffickers over the years, is not so much that he was murdered recently – but that he had apparently lived to be in his 80s.

The Los Angeles Times’ Ken Ellingwood reported on Delgado’s killing in this story, which explains how  Delgado was stabbed to death by a group of men in front of his home in Toluca, Mexico.

I remember reaching Americo Delgado by phone once when I was a reporter at The San Diego-Union Tribune, covering border news. I was seeking a quote from him in regards to the U.S. government’s efforts to extradite his client Benjamin Arellano-Felix, the former high-ranking member of the Arellano Felix drug group (Arellano was eventually extradited). The fact that he even took  my call was somewhat amazing to me.

Over the seven years I worked in Tijuana, I interviewed or talked to several other Mexican defense attorneys who represented people who were either directly or indirectly involved with major drug groups. One of them was gunned down shortly after I chatted with him (no connection). Another one ended up being killed and stuffed inside a car trunk.

I occasionally wondered how Americo Delgado  – who defended some of the drug world’s top lieutenants –  managed to avoid the fate of his less-fortunate colleagues in this shadowy world where “just doing one’s job” is complicated by the deeper symbolism and loyalties that the drug trafficking world operates on. Delgado had most recently been defending suspected drug trafficker Alfredo Beltran Leyva, according to newspaper reports.

Video originally posted by Multimedia on YouTube.

3 responses to “Most defense lawyers for Mexican drug traffickers have shortened life spans – Americo Delgado outlived most

  1. That is a crying shame. I hope his killer is cought

  2. stephany ramirez

    I’m a U.S. citezen, watting for my passport to come in the mail, my question is can i buy a day pass to go to tijuana? or can i bring my birth certificate, with my driver license, and a cable bill or proff of adress. plese answer me back thanks for your time.

  3. Hi, Stephany. I’m not exactly sure I understand what you mean when you say a ‘day pass’ for Tijuana. I would say bring all those documents for peace of mind (you can probably bring a copy of birth certificate) . It appears that the border officials are doing more reminding than actual enforcing of the passport regulation. If you want to get a better sense of how things are being put into practice, I would suggest reading the comments people have left on this blog regarding the issue…in particular under the post “Answer to Question about Passport Requirements at the U.S. Border.”
    Have a good trip. Anna

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