Drug baron who was El Chapo's right-hand man could be freed after judge ...

Drug baron who was El Chapo's right-hand man and founded feared Sinaloa cartel could be freed after Mexican judge absolves him of organised crime charges Hector 'El Guero' Palma Salazar, 80, will be released if no other court decides to bring charges against him for separate crimes in the next week He was absolved of organised crime charges by a Mexican judge on Saturday  Held in Altiplano prison on murder charges since release from US jail in 2016 Spent nine years in prison in California for trafficking cocaine after 1995 arrest

By Lauren Lewis For Mailonline

Published: 15:50 BST, 3 May 2021 | Updated: 15:50 BST, 3 May 2021

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A top drug baron who was El Chapo's right-hand man and founded the feared Sinaloa cartel could be freed after a Mexican judge absolved him of organised crime charges.  

Hector 'El Guero' Palma Salazar, 80, will be released if no other court decides to bring charges against him for separate crimes in the next week. 

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The 80-year-old drug lord has been held at Mexico's Altiplano prison since 2016, when he was released from jail in the US nearly a decade inside, transferred to Mexican authorities, and arrested. 

He was charged over two 1995 murders in the Pacific coast state of Nayarit on his return but was never properly prosecuted for the alleged crimes.   

Top drug baron Hector 'El Guero' Palma Salazar, 80, could be released from jail after a Mexican judge absolved him of organised crime charges, five years after he was taken into custody in 2016 (pictured)

Top drug baron Hector 'El Guero' Palma Salazar, 80, could be released from jail after a Mexican judge absolved him of organised crime charges, five years after he was taken into custody in 2016 (pictured)

After his 2016 release from prison in the US, Salazar was transferred in to Mexican authorities' custody at the border in Brownsville, Texas and and Matamoros, Mexico

After his 2016 release from prison in the US, Salazar was transferred in to Mexican authorities' custody at the border in Brownsville, Texas and and Matamoros, Mexico

Salazar was cleared of the most recent charges in a memorandum by Mexico's Second District Court of Federal Criminal Proceedings on Saturday. 

Mexico's foreign ministry said it had also asked the US government to check for an outstanding extradition request for Salazar before his release.  

They added that the prosecutor's offices in all 32 Mexican state are currently checking if they have any outstanding charges against Salazar, whose nickname means 'Blondie' in English.      

In Mexican authorities' custody, Salazar was charged over two 1995 murders in the Pacific coast state of Nayarit but was never properly prosecuted for the alleged crimes

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