Who was Rafael Aguilar Guajardo?
Rafael was born in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico in 1950 – his exact date of birth remains undisclosed, but his zodiac sign was believed to be Capricorn, and he held Mexican nationality. He was the federal police commander of the Direcccion Federal de Seguridad (DFS), drug lord and co-founder of the Juarez Cartel.
Early life and education
Rafael was raised in Ciudad Juarez by his parents, about whom nothing’s known as he respected their privacy; it’s believed that his father was also involved with drug cartels, and that his mother was a housewife.
Rafael never shared any details about his siblings, but it’s still widely believed that he wasn’t an only child.
He had a rather normal childhood, attending a local high school at which he was interested in a couple of activities, but mostly in playing soccer. Rafael initially managed to stay away from drug dealing which he saw all around him, and after he matriculated in 1968, he chose not to pursue a college degree, but to join the police force.
Rafael’s career as a police officer
Rafael joined DFS not long after completing his high school education, and went on to make his way up from a police officer to federal police commander.
The connections which Rafael established helped him after he befriended the late Mexican narcotics smuggler Pablo Acosta Villarreal, and became involved in drug smuggling himself.
Drug dealing and leading the Juarez Cartel
Rafael became the right-hand man to Pablo, who at that time smuggled more than 60 tons of cocaine per year for the Colombians, and other drugs including marijuana and heroin; the two founded the so-called Juarez Cartel together. Pablo was murdered in April 1987 and Rafael took his place, while he then chose the Mexican drug lord Amado Carrillo Fuentes as his right hand.
Mexican police began following Rafael when he quit his job at DFS, and learned that his main person in the police was Carlos Maya Castillo, who was at that time working at the National Security and Investigation Center, and who sent sensitive information to Rafael every week.
On 12 April 1993, Rafael was assassinated by people hired by his right-hand man Amado, who then went on to lead the Juarez Cartel.
Following Rafael’s death, the Attorney General of Mexico seized all of his assets, worth more than $100 million, such as his 7,000 m2 Acapulco property, his several houses and a couple of nightclubs.
The series “Narcos: Mexico”
Rafael was portrayed by Noe Hernandez in the critically acclaimed historical series “Narcos: Mexico”, created by Carlo Bernard and Chris Brancato, and which starred Scoot McNairy, Jose Maria Yazpik and Alejandro Edda. The series follows an American of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) who’s targeting members of the Guadalajara Cartel – it aired from 2018 to 2021, and won three of the 12 awards for which it was nominated.
The Juarez Cartel
The Juarez Cartel was founded in the first half of the ’70s, and was led by Pablo Acosta Villarreal until he was killed by Mexican Federal Police in April 1987.
Rafael took his place not long after that, and his rein lasted for around six years, until Amado Carrillo Fuentes had him killed, and he and his brothers began leading the cartel. Amado died during plastic surgery gone wrong in 1997, and after a brief war over the cartel’s control, Amado’s brother Vicente Carrillo Fuentes took over the reins. Vicente was initially successful at running the cartel, as he formed an alliance with other drug lords, however, the drug lord Guzman of the Sinaloa Cartel went against the deal, and ordered the murder of Vicente’s brother. Vicente’s answer was having Guzman’s brother killed in jail, and these actions led to a war between the Juarez and Sinaloa cartels.
The Juarez Cartel is still actively smuggling drugs today, and revealed by police to be operating in 21 (of 31) Mexican states. They have been in a war with the Sinaloa Cartel since 2007, and this has led to the death of more than 1,000 of their members. Vicente retired from running the cartel in 2013, and was succeeded by his brother Alberto Carrillo Fuentes.
The Juarez Cartel is depicted in the crime thriller series “Breaking Bad”, created by Vince Gilligan, and which starred Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul and Anna Gunn. It aired from 2008 to 2013, follows a high school chemistry teacher who has learned that he’s terminally ill, and has thus started manufacturing methamphetamine with his former student; the series is believed to be the #2 best of all-time, and won 170 awards, including 16 Primetime Emmys, while it was nominated for 247 other awards.
Love life and wife
Rafael kept his wife Maria Teresa Delgado Varela away from his drug business, but he often found time to spend with his family; they had a son whose identity remains undisclosed.
Rafael was killed when vacationing with his wife and son in Cancun, Mexico, and had 12 other members of their family with them. On that day, Rafael took his wife and son on a submarine tour, and was gunned down on his way back to the hotel, after having stopped outside of Gypsys Restaurant.
The American tourist Georgina Knafel was also killed, while Rafael’s wife and their son, who was 11 years old at that time, were wounded.
Since Rafael’s death, Maria Teresa has been staying away from the media’s attention, and has apparently been hiding their son from those who might be wanting to harm him.
Age and net worth
Rafael was 43 years old when killed. He had short brown hair and brown eyes, his height was 5ft 5ins (1.65m) and he weighed around 165lbs (75kgs).
At the time of Rafael’s death, his net worth was estimated at more than $100 million.