Biden thanks Mexico’s President for helping to capture alleged cartel chief

November 24, 2023

President Biden on Thursday thanked Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador after the arrest of suspected cartel security chief Néstor Isidro Pérez Salas, also known as “El Nini.”

“I want to thank President López Obrador and the Mexican Army and special forces for effectively capturing El Nini, and express our appreciation for the brave men and women of Mexican security forces who undertook this successful operation to apprehend him,” Biden said in a statement.

Salas had served as the head of security for the Chapitos wing of the Sinaloa Cartel, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, which charged him back in April along with the three sons of cartel leader Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, and numerous others for a “massive” import of fentanyl and trafficking conspiracies. 

“For nearly three years, El Nini has been one of Mexico’s and the United States’ most wanted criminals,” Biden noted in his statement thanking López Obrador, adding that “both our countries are safer with him behind bars and facing justice for his crimes.”

“These arrests are testament to the commitment between the United States and Mexico to secure our communities against violence, counter the cartels, and end the scourge of illicit fentanyl that is hurting so many families,” the President’s statement goes on. “We will continue working as strong partners to do everything possible to hold criminals accountable for jeopardizing public health and safety in our two countries.”

The arrest of the cartel chief came just about a week after Biden and López Obrador most recently met, in the San Francisco area, where the Mexican President pledged to work to prevent the northward flow of fentanyl, a highly addictive synthetic opioid, into the U.S.

PHOTO: Néstor Isidro Pérez Salas, aka “El Nini” wanted poster

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