Tag Archives: Guatemala

El Chapo Guzman’s prison escape update

A manhunt began immediately late Saturday for the head of the powerful Sinaloa Cartel, which has an international reach and is believed to control most of the major crossing points for drugs at the U.S. border with Mexico.

Associated Press journalists near the Altiplano said the roads were being heavily patrolled by Federal Police with numerous checkpoints and a Blackhawk helicopter flying overhead. Flights were also suspended at Toluca airport near the penitentiary in the state of Mexico, and civil aviation hangars were being searched.

Guzman was last seen about 9 p.m. Saturday in the shower area of his cell, according to a statement from the National Security Commission issued early Sunday. After a time, he was lost by the prison’s security camera surveillance network. Upon checking his cell, authorities found it empty and a 20-by-20-inch (50-by-50 centimeter) hole near the shower.

Guzman’s escape is a major embarrassment to the administration of President Enrique Pena Nieto, which had received plaudits for its aggressive approach to top drug lords. Since the government took office in late 2012, Mexican authorities have nabbed or killed six of them, including Guzman.

Guzman faces multiple federal drug trafficking indictments in the U.S. as well as Mexico, and was on the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s most-wanted list.

After Guzman was arrested on Feb. 22, 2014, the U.S. had said it would file an extradition request, though it’s not clear if that happened.

The Mexican government at the time vehemently denied the need to extradite Guzman, even as many expressed fears he would escape as he did in 2001 while serving a 20-year sentence in another maximum-security prison, Puente Grande, in the western state of Jalisco.

Former Mexican Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam told The AP earlier this year that the U.S. would get Guzman in “about 300 or 400 years” after he served time for all his crimes in Mexico. Murillo Karam said sending Guzman to the United States would save Mexico a lot of money, but keeping him was a question of national sovereignty.

He dismissed concerns that Guzman could escape a second time. That risk “does not exist,” Murillo Karam said.

It Trafficking drugs mapwas difficult to believe that such an elaborate structure could have been built without the detection of authorities. According to Rubido, the tunnel terminated in a house under construction in a neighborhood near the prison. Guzman dropped by ladder into a hole 10 meters (yards) deep that connected with a tunnel about 1.7 meters (yards) high that was fully ventilated.

Guzman is known for the elaborate tunnels his cartel has built underneath the Mexico-U.S. border to transport cocaine, methamphetamines and marijuana, with ventilation, lighting and even railcars to easily move products.

He was first caught by authorities in Guatemala in 1993, extradited and sentenced to 20 years in prison on drug-trafficking related charges. The lore says he escaped in a laundry cart, although there have been several versions of how he got away. What is clear is that he had help from prison guards, who were prosecuted and convicted.

Guzman was finally re-captured in February 2014 after eluding authorities for days across his home state of Sinaloa, for which the cartel is named. He was listed as 56 years old last year, though there are discrepancies in his birth date.

During his first stint as a fugitive, Guzman transformed himself from a middling Mexican capo into arguably the most powerful drug trafficker in the world. His fortune grew to be estimated at more than $1 billion, according to Forbes magazine, which listed him among the “World’s Most Powerful People” and ranked him above the presidents of France and Venezuela.

Guzman has long been known for his ability to pay off local residents and even authorities, who would tip him off to security operations launched for his capture. He finally was tracked down to a modest beachside high-rise in the Pacific Coast resort city of Mazatlan on Feb. 22, 2014, where he had been hiding with his wife and twin daughters. He was taken in the early morning without a shot fired.

But before they reached him, security forces went on a several-day chase through Culiacan, the capital of Sinaloa state. They found houses where Guzman supposedly had been staying with steel-enforced doors and the same kind of lighted, ventilated tunnels that allowed him to escape from a bathroom to an outside drainage ditch.

Even with his 2014 capture, Guzman’s continues to stretch throughout North America and reaches as far away as Europe and Australia. The cartel has been heavily involved in the bloody drug war that has torn through parts of Mexico for the last decade, taking at least an estimated 100,000 lives.

Altiplano, which is considered the main and most secure of Mexico’s federal prisons, also houses Zetas drug cartel leader Miguel Angel Trevino, and Edgar Valdes Villarreal, known as “La Barbie,” of the Beltran Leyva cartel.

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Posted by on 07/12/2015 in Crime!, Mexican Drug Cartels


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Dolly Cifuentes linked with Joaquin El Chapo Guzman arraigned

An alleged Colombian drug trafficker accused of having ties to the Mexican organization Joaquin ” El Chapo “Guzman, the leader of the Sinaloa cartel, appeared before a federal judge in Miami on Monday , but the hearing was held behind closed doors by order of the judge.

Colombian Drug trafficker associated with Joaquin " El Chapo "Guzman,

Colombian Drug trafficker associated with Joaquin ” El Chapo “Guzman,

Immediately after the hearing started with Dolly Cifuentes , Judge Joan Lenard ordered the audience leave the room. Only a few people were present, including the defendant, her attorney Bonnie Klapper, prosecutor Andrea Hoffman, one interpreter and several policemen.

According to court records contained in the online system of the federal courts, Cifuentes Villa was due to Lenard to change the declaration of innocence that had been made in August 2012.

In 2010, the U.S. government accused Cifuentes, dubbed the “minor” with conspiracy to import and manufacture cocaine knowing that it would be imported into the United States, and to manufacture and distribute cocaine in Guatemala and Colombia and to import these drugs into this country .

In total, the authorities made five charges that carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

 However, due to an agreement between Colombia and the United States, Cifuentes cannot face a life sentence or death. At the hearings where the accused changed her initial statement of innocence to guilty, also typically announced a plea deal. Through these agreements undertake to cooperate with the authorities in ongoing investigations, in exchange for a lighter sentence and avoid a trial, a process that is usually longer.

Cifuentes, recently extradited more than a year from her country, would have been a brother’s girlfriend of former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe. After the hearing of nearly an hour, Klapper  the defense attorney refused to comment outside the courtroom to. Lenard said the judge had ordered court documents remain secret. Cifuentes entered the courtroom minutes before Lenard request removal of those present.

She was dressed in a short sleeveless camisole and beige pants. Her face was pale. A woman who also left the room said it was the lawyer of Cifuentes in Colombia, who said that the defense of the accused had asked that the hearing be reserved. The woman, who spoke Spanish, was not to be identified by name.

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Posted by on 09/15/2013 in Crime!, Mexican Drug Cartels


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Mexican cartels growing operation in Northern Triangle of Central America

The diversion of precursor chemicals used to produce drugs has gained a growing importance in the Northern Triangle of Central America, formed by El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras

marihuana_0The Mexican cartels exert a growing influence in Central America , a field of operation “very easy” for the diversion of precursor chemicals used in drug production, Costa Rican authorities warned today.

“The Mexican cartels are acting more active in the region,” said Emilia Ramirez, head of the Precursor Control Unit of the Costa Rican Drug Institute (ICD).

Ramirez said that even though Costa Rica “does not suffer the ravages of drug trafficking”, the process has gained a growing importance in the so-called Northern Triangle of Central America, formed by El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras .

“It took a lot of strength in what is called Northern Triangle,” the official said on Tuesday at the “Seminar on Prevention of diversion of precursors and chemicals used in the illicit manufacture of drugs” in the Nations’ capital.

This seminar will examine actions to shore up coordination to respond to the phenomenon.

Ramirez said the cartels “is very easy to divert them precursors of the Northern Triangle, the controls are very weak and its proximity to Mexico.”

He added that Costa Rica “is trying to act preventively and not expect the problem to get our country.”

The event also involved the drug commissioner of Costa Rica, Mauritius Boraschi, who said that the seminar is organized in order to “strengthen and coordinate the efforts of the participating entities to improve the national response to the problem.”

The “diversion of chemical precursors and precursors for illicit drug manufacture transcends borders and has been spreading to neighboring countries, neighboring or not, drug-producing countries, “he said.

“That’s why we involve judges, prosecutors, police and experts involved in the issue of precursors, washing and issues related to the phenomenon of drugs,” said Boraschi.

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Posted by on 03/20/2013 in Crime!


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Joint co-operation with Mexican and Guatemalan Armies fighting crime

The Mexican Army and Guatemala, began operating in the border of the two countries, in order to inhibit organized crime, which uses the “blind spots” for the blind after weapons, drugs, undocumented, merchandise, gasoline, among others, it was announced, Colonel Bayron Quinones, commander of Task Force West San Marcos Department of Guatemala.

Mexican and Guatemalan armies to fight crime on the Border

Mexican and Guatemalan armies to fight crime on the Border

In turn, the Attorney General of the state, Raciel Lopez Salazar, reported that according to the FBI, based in Guatemala and El Salvador, will be an exchange of information, including a database of fingerprints datasheets and gang members arrested and prosecuted in Chiapas.

This, in order to rule out that they have a court order in force in Central America. They also noted the priority of conducting track of firearms that have been insured with the institution to know its true origin and destination.

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Posted by on 02/15/2013 in Border, Crime!


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Belize the new drug haven for Mexican Drug Cartel

Belize, which borders Mexico and Guatemala, has become dominated by the cartels Los Zetas and Maras, warns a report by Inter-American Dialogue in Washington.

Belize the New Drug Haven

Belize the New Drug Haven

According to the policy analysis group and intelligence in the last 30 years has intensified the phenomenon of drug trafficking in the small Central American nation that has become important point for smuggling cocaine from South America to the United States.

Despite having a population 43 times smaller than Guatemala or 15 times less than the average Central American countries, Belize faces growing murder rate, gang, the problem of being important point for the drug and lack of resources.

Inter-American Dialogue that higher ranks cartel operations are performed in the jungles of Petén and the Keys, a chain of 450 small coral islands, to smuggle drugs, people, weapons, wood and exotic animals.

Drug trafficking tentacles extending from Belize

Inter-American Dialogue alert increasingly becomes a center for trafficking of drugs and contraband.

The safety analysis set eyes U.S. now in Belize.

Belize is a small country that borders Mexico and Guatemala on the Caribbean coast, south of Quintana Roo. For some it is almost heavenly: is rainforest and small luxury hotels located in the Keys Caribbean. And some little known is that increasingly becomes a center of drug trafficking and smuggling of weapons and people, as well as Guatemala, as well as Honduras or El Salvador, and as they are near the border with Mexico.

“(The) analysis of organized crime and insecurity in the northern triangle of Central America to ignore or minimize the role of Belize will leave out a key player,” said a recent report of the Inter-American Dialogue in Washington.

Belize, he added, “has proven to have geographic and strategic importance for traffickers of illegal goods (weapons or drugs), smugglers and gangs.”

In fact, in 2012 a Lebanese linked to arms trafficking, including Arab extremist group linked to Hezbollah, was arrested in Cancun, Mexico: Raffiq Laboun Allaboun Mohammed, who had, among other things, false Belizean passports.

But in the last 30 years the main challenge for the country’s drug trade has been that it is a transfer point for cocaine from South America to reach the United States.

The problem now has increased. The arrival of gangs, corruption, the Mexican cartels, the political disputes with other countries in Central and fact which in turn is surrounded by nations in trouble will not help the situation in Belize.

The result in any case is not only insecure and penetration of offenders, particularly the Mexican cartels, in governing bodies. With a population of 321,115 people, recorded 146 murders in 2012. The figure seems small, but it represents 44 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants.

According to UN data, the homicide rate in Mexico in 2012 was 22.7 per 100,000.

According to the report of the Inter-American Dialogue, despite having a population 43 times smaller than Guatemala or 15 times less on average relative to other Central American countries, Belize faces “a growing murder rate, gang, a role as a of transshipment of drugs, and a budget for public safety is not proportional to their needs. ”

But, despite the problems and the reality of the presence of groups like Los Zetas gangs or maras, the Belize situation seems largely ignored. After all it is a nation with a population of English-speaking, with a population mostly of African descent and Maya.

The origin of the Spanish names in Belize is equally simple: many are descendants of the Maya who came here fleeing the Caste War of Yucatan, in the mid to late nineteenth century.

The half of the population is below 20 years of age and with an unemployment rate reaching nearly 19.5% of the social problem issue is also not something to ignore.

Worse, the report said, “the territorial dispute between Guatemala and Belize imposes a serious obstacle to a stronger partnership between the two countries to combat organized crime.”

Guatemala and Belize not only have a historical dispute, since English settlers coastal territories occupied practically the Captaincy General of Guatemala to create their own state, but current differences, especially in the jungles of Peten, where an ill-defined border lends smuggling of all kinds, including timber and exotic animals, as well as drugs.

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Posted by on 02/12/2013 in Crime!, Mexican Drug Cartels


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John McAfee shows up in Guatemala

The computer mogul John McAfee, appeared before reporters in Guatemala with his lawyer

John McAfee shows up in Guatemala

John McAfee shows up in Guatemala

GUATEMALA, The computer mogul John McAfee, yoga enthusiast, lover of tropical paradises of the Caribbean and millionaire, ended a chapter in the odyssey living from murder, nearly a month ago, its neighbor in Belize, the case has been linked.

After weeks of leaving false clues to his whereabouts, U.S. tycoon appeared before journalists in Guatemala, accompanied by the renowned lawyer Telesforo Guerra, whose clients include former dictator Oscar Mejia Victores or former President Alfonso Portillo, accused of laundering money.

One of the qualities of War to be hired, according to McAfee himself acknowledged in his blog on the Internet, is that “Samantha’s uncle,” the young man of twenty with the antivirus software mogul, 67, recognizes that maintains a romance.

Another is that Telesforo Guerra, a native of Belize and Guatemalan citizen for years, “is very well versed in the intricate system of Belizean Government corruption,” he adds.

The McAfee bizarre odyssey began when Gregory November 10 Viant Faull, 52, his neighbor in Ambergris Caye, an island paradise located off the coast of Belize where he retired in 2008, was found shot dead head.

McAfee had fights with his neighbor, a contractor and former Marine of the U.S. Army who had even accused of poisoning dogs guarding his mansion.

Right from the outset, when the police came to investigate the murder of neighbor hid McAfee, burying himself in the sand, under some cardboard to avoid being discovered while police searched his home.

Although only the Belizean authorities have expressed interest in interrogating the computer magnate on the crime of its neighbor, the McAfee antivirus program creator, who insists that he fears for his life, he began a long flight that has now led to Guatemala , a country considered a “safe haven”.

“In the last three weeks I have had no contact with the U.S. Embassy in Belize, because many of its employees are Belizeans and do not feel safe communicating with them,” McAfee said in his blog on a somewhat paranoid.

This is not the first time the U.S. tycoon shows his suspicion of being a victim of a plot by the Belizean authorities, which has reaffirmed that he will not surrender “under any circumstances”.

“You can call me paranoid but I want to kill them, no doubt.’ve Been trying to catch for months, they want to silence me,” McAfee said recently to Wired Magazine, to blame the harassment victim claiming to be prime minister Belize, Dean Barrow.

In his appearance before the press, McAfee said he delivered the Belizean Government $ 80 million since 2005 to help develop the country, but suspended aid because of the corruption, which he attributed to the “persecution” and to accused, said, “of a crime I did not commit.”

From his blog, McAfee Barrow offered to meet with him “like gentlemen” in a “neutral country, to discuss our mutual affairs”, without elaborating on what issues are concerned.

But the ruler granted Belizean doubt have “little or no knowledge of the level of corruption that extends each branch of government” and offered to deliver “thousands of hours of video and audio recordings as evidence.”

Finally, apologized to his “followers” for publishing false information in recent days in his blog, as he had been arrested on the border between Belize and Mexico, to mislead the Belizean authorities.

“I have not slept in 24 hours (…) I’m riding endless meetings a strategy for the next steps (…) I love you all,” McAfee says goodbye, whose fortune is estimated to have been severely decline due to the loss suffered by their investments by the crisis.

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Posted by on 12/05/2012 in Crime!


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Mexican Drug cartels operating in 16 countries on the American Continent

In Mexico, the dispute over control of the territories being waged between eight drug cartels

operating throughout the country have consolidated their expansion projects and organized their cartels into a transnational presence and partnerships with local criminal groups from Canada to Brazil covering 16 countries in the Western hemisphere.

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Though the fight against drug trafficking undertaken by the Calderon government, in which 22 of the 37 most wanted leaders and operators have been detained-from March 2009 until today.

In recent years the eight Mexican cartels consolidated their internationalization presence. In a report by the PGR updated to August this year, reveals that Mexican transnational organizations have partnerships operating in 16 countries in the hemisphere .

“El Chapo”, with the largest or the Sinaloa cartel Pacific, led by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, has hegemony. Until now has expanded its presence to 13 countries on the continent: Canada, United States, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Belize, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Argentina and Venezuela.

The closest competitors of the organization “El Chapo “are Gulf cartel and” Zetas “(formerly antagonistic allies and today), operating in a total of nine nations, as documented by the Mexican federal government sharing intelligence with the authorities in these countries.

Both groups are in the United States, Guatemala, El Salvador, Panama, Colombia and Bolivia, seeking to control territory. It has also documented the presence of “Los Zetas” in Honduras, Argentina and Brazil, while their rivals now Gulf cartel operating in Belize, Costa Rica and Peru.

The other criminal groups also have operations in some of these nations, but not at the same level. For example, the once powerful as the Arellano Felix cartel, is present only in the United States and Peru, while Juarez is on American soil, maintaining its alliances in Colombia, as well as Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, and has Argentina reached.

In this drug map, the recent criminal group “The Knights Templar“, which grew out of “The Family” in 2011, in just one year operates in the U.S., while the group from which emanated Michoacan has ramifications on U.S. soil, Colombia, Costa Rica and Guatemala.

Beltran Leyva, after separating from “El Chapo” hold its own network in the United States, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama and Colombia. Colombia remains, together with Bolivia and Peru, as the epicenter of the production of cocaine.

While Ecuador and Venezuela, see how the Mexican and Colombian cartels used as transit countries, with the consequences of violence on the rise, while Chile with Argentina-seen as a haven for the supply of precursor chemicals, are used as ports output to export the drug to Africa and Europe. Brazil is the largest consumer just Latin America, but also the largest supplier of chemical inputs to process cocaine.

Bruce Bagley, director of the Center for Latin American Studies, said that Mexican cartels are in control in the Andean region and the Northern market. “There is something very clear: instead of letting traded intermediary groups (drug), they (the Mexican narcos) are already hands in the dough.”

“We had no major problems capos here, and now, we speak here of cartels and mini-posters . The crops also appear in Zulia, Tachira, Apure. ” Hernan Matute , coordinator of the Drug Free Chair of the Institute of Caracas.”

This phenomenon of ‘paid assassins’ was not observed in Argentina, becomes a worrying situation that goes together with increased drug trafficking. ” Eduardo Amadeo , deputy national Peronist Front.

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Posted by on 09/18/2012 in Crime!, Mexican Drug Cartels


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