Entradas etiquetadas como Cártel de Sinaloa

Hijo de expresidente Lobo Sosa sería aliado del “Chapo” Guzmán en Honduras

Por: Redacción CRITERIO redaccion@criterio.hn

Tegucigalpa.- Investigaciones realizadas por las autoridades de la DEA, han logrado establecer que el cartel de Sinaloa, bajo el liderazgo del Chapo Guzmán, pagó en Honduras para contrabandear toneladas de cocaína desde Venezuela y Colombia hacia el territorio hondureño y luego trasladarla por Guatemala y México hasta los Estados Unidos. Dentro […]

Origen: Hijo de expresidente Lobo Sosa sería aliado del “Chapo” Guzmán en Honduras – CRITERIO

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Mexico Captures Sinaloa Cartel Head in Central America

Cesar Gastelum Serrano, alias "La Señora"

Authorities in Mexico have captured the head of the Sinaloa Cartel‘s Central American operations, likely provoking even greater upheaval in Honduras‘ criminal underworld.

On April 11, Mexican security forces captured Cesar Gastelum Serrano, alias “La Señora,” in the southeastern resort city of Cancun, reported The Associated Press.

Less than four months prior to his arrest, the US Treasury Department had designated Gastelum Serrano to its “kingpin” list for being one of the Sinaloa Cartel‘s largest cocaine suppliers. According to the US Treasury, Gastelum Serrano used a “vast criminal network to lead a cocaine trafficking organization capable of moving tons of cocaine per week through Honduras and Guatemala to Mexico.”

Gastelum Serrano operated out of Honduras in the city of San Pedro Sula, where he allegedly collaborated with the Valle drug clan, one of the country’s largest transport groups, reported Excelsior.

According to Mexican authorities, Gastelum Serrano also worked with Sinaloa Cartel leader Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada.

InSight Crime Analysis

US officials believe Gastelum Serrano was the most prolific drug trafficker in Central America, and his arrest will only increase the state of flux in Honduras‘ criminal underworld. A significant number of Honduras‘ major drug traffickers have been captured over the past year, and top leaders of the country’s two biggest drug transport groups — the Valles and the Cachiros — are now in US custody.

This may lead to increased drug-related violence in what is already one of the world’s deadliest countries. A string of killings in 2014 in San Pedro Sula was attributed to infighting between Sinaloa Cartel factions, and Gastelum Serrano’s capture will likely further weaken the cartel’s ability to maintain order among its operatives in Honduras.

SEE ALSO: Honduras News and Profiles

Gastelum Serrano’s arrest will also likely incite fear among some of Honduras‘ elites, given the previously exposed close ties between drug traffickers and the country’s political establishment. At least four Honduran traffickers extradited to the United States have already signaled their willingness to offer authorities information on their accomplices in the hopes of receiving a reduced sentence or other benefits.

Finally, Gastelum Serrano’s capture indicates that Mexican authorities are likely cooperating with their Honduran counterparts in operations targeting high-profile drug traffickers. This would represent an important development, given the expanding influence of Mexican cartels in this Central American nation.

Fuente: http://www.insightcrime.org/news-briefs/mexico-captures-sinaloa-cartel-head-in-central-america

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Rolling Up the Valle Valle Narco-network in Guatemala

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Agents of the Guatemalan Government and the US Drug Enforcement Agency arrested Rubén Arita Rivera, alleged to be part of a narco-network in Guatemala that articulated with the Valle Valle family network in Honduras.Arita Rivera was arrested in the small community of Chamagua, near San Jose Zacapa, in Guatemala.  This is a prime location for transshipment of drugs from Honduras, through Guatemala, to El Salvador, one of the known routes of the Cartel del Pacifico (formerly the Sinaloa Cartel), allegedly managed by the Lorenzano family in Guatemala.

It’s an ideal location to intercept drug shipments going through the Honduras – Guatemala border from blind crossings at La Florida (where the Valle Valle family ranch was located) and El Paraiso, as well as shipments going through the border crossings of Copan Ruinas and Ocotepeque.  From there the drugs could be shipped northward to Mexico, or southwesterly into El Salvador.

But Arita Rivera isn’t accused of running drugs, just being a money courier. Guatemala began investigating Arita Rivera in 2014 when they captured one of his couriers, Flavio Dimas Rojas, transporting a large sum of currency supposedly belonging to Arita Rivera. Guatemala alleges that Arita Rivera regularly ran drug money from Chiquimula in eastern Guatemala to Huehuetenango, along the border near Comitan, Mexico.

Arita Rivera has a US drug running conviction.  In March, 2008, he accepted delivery of a package in Spring Valley, NY that contained more than 500 grams (slightly over a pound) of cocaine.  He was charged with conspiracy with unnamed others to violate the US narcotics laws, and with possession with intent to distribute the cocaine.  On January 12, 2009 he was sentenced to be imprisoned for 37 months and fined $100.00 (US 7:08-cr-00571-SCR).  He was to serve 3 years probation after he served his sentence, and if he left the country or was deported, was not to re-enter the US without permission of the US Attorney.  If he had remained in the US he would just be completing his probation this coming June.

Instead, today he was arrested in Guatemala with the participation of the US DEA.

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US ‘Kingpin’ Designation Exposes Sinaloa Cartel Head in Central America

US Treasury designates Gastelum Serrano network 'kingpins'

The United States Treasury Department added arguably the largest drug trafficker in Central America to its kingpin list in December, as the ripple effect of a series of arrests in the region reverberates to the highest echelons of the underworld.

In a sparsely worded December 23 statement, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) named Cesar Gastelum Serrano, alias “La Señora,” and three of his brothers — Alfredo, Jaime, and Guadalupe Candelario — as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers for their work for the Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico and Central America.

“With support from his brothers, Cesar Gastelum Serrano has been able to establish himself as one of the most prolific cocaine suppliers for Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel,” OFAC Director Adam J. Szubin was quoted in the statement as saying. “By designating Gastelum Serrano and several of his key allies, we are once again disrupting the illicit activities of this violent drug cartel.”

The designation is usually a prelim to a formal indictment in the United States or an indication that a sealed indictment already exists. However, OFAC did not delineate property holdings or say where Gastelum Serrano and his brothers operate, as it frequently does when it names someone to the kingpin list. 20141224 mexico honduras gastelum serrano network

InSight Crime Analysis

Although Treasury is being coy, US officials think Gastelum Serrano is the largest drug trafficker in the isthmus and one with enough bargaining power to gain a seat at the table next to legendary Sinaloa Cartel figures such as Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, the current head of the cartel.

Gastelum Serrano’s base in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, is the epicenter of drug trafficking — and violence — in Central America these days. His network stretches up and down the region where he is the Sinaloa Cartel’s principal envoy and purchaser of cocaine from mostly Central American and Colombian sellers.

“Gastelum Serrano uses a vast criminal network to lead a cocaine trafficking organization capable of moving tons of cocaine per week through Honduras and Guatemala to Mexico,” the OFAC statement says.

How many tons is not clear, but Honduras and Guatemala together see anywhere between 250 and 350 tons of cocaine move through their territory a year, and Gastelum Serrano, US officials believe, has his hands on much of this traffic.

But Gastelum Serrano’s network may be unraveling, which may, in part, help explain a surge in violence in San Pedro Sula in 2014.

The dominos began to fall sometime in 2013, InSight Crime’s Mexican sources say, when US authorities captured Marllory Chacon Rossell, alias the “Queen of the South.” A Guatemalan national, Chacon Rossell was placed on the OFAC kingpin list in 2012, for her presumed role as a money launderer in the region. She has contacts with political elite in Guatemala, admitting in one interview that she met Guatemala’s Vice President Roxana Baldetti. (Baldetti has vehemently denied having any links with Chacon Rossell.)

The US concealed the fact that it had custody of Chacon Rossell for months leading to suspicions that she supplied information leading authorities to various other parts of the Gastelum Serrano network.

Among that network was the Guatemalan Hayron Borrayo Lasmibat, alias “El Gordo,” who US and French authorities captured in Paris in March of 2014. Borrayo was one of the largest traffickers in Guatemala, supplying vast amounts of illegal drugs to both the Zetas and the Sinaloa Cartel, US and Guatemalan authorities told InSight Crime.

In Honduras, the noose also tightened when several pieces of the Sinaloa network came under pressure. In 2013, the US Treasury put the Rivera Maradiaga family, alias the Cachiros, on the kingpin list; Honduras authorities followed up with large-scale confiscations of property and freezing of bank accounts.

In March, Honduran authorities captured Carlos Arnoldo Lobo, alias “El Negro” Lobo. Lobo was extradited to the United States to face charges in May 2014, the first Honduran extradited in over a century. In July, Lobo’s associate, Francisco Javier Zelaya Funez was captured in Mexico and extradited to the United States.

In August, US authorities arrested Digna Valle Valle, a member of the trafficking clan by the same last name. By early October, three more Valle Valle family members were in Honduran custody, and on December 18, two of them were extradited to the US. The Honduras government says the third brother will be extradited to the US in January 2015. The Valles were thought to be Gastelum Serrano’s principal suppliers in Honduras.

Add to that the tumult that has come with the February 2014 capture of the Sinaloa Cartel’s nominal head, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. Guzman was not necessarily steering the ship anymore, but he had long used Honduras and Guatemala as a storage, processing and dispatch point for his illicit products, and understood the importance of having a high end and trustworthy manager like Gastelum Serrano based in the region.

In sum, the Gastelum Serrano network — which had been operational for years — has been decimated in a matter of months. Just where that leaves Gastelum Serrano and his brothers is clear with the Treasury Department’s kingpin designation: exposed.

Fuente: http://www.insightcrime.org/news-analysis/us-kingpin-designation-exposes-sinaloa-cartel-head-central-america

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Who is Behind Honduras Morgue Massacre?

The site of the San Pedro Sula massacre The site of the San Pedro Sula massacre

The massacre of eight people at a morgue in Honduras’ most dangerous city serves as a brutal reminder of the violence that continues to plague the country, often committed by organized crime groups.

Following the August 18 murder of Jose Luis Terrero Piedi in the nearby city of Puerto Cortes, family and friends gathered at the Forensic Medicine morgue in the northwestern city of San Pedro Sula. As they stood outside, two trucks pulled up and approximately 10 heavily armed men in ski masks jumped out and opened fire, reported El Heraldo.

Five people attempted to take shelter in nearby vehicles, but were shot dead. A total of eight were killed and six others injured in the gunfire, reported La Tribuna. No arrests have yet been made in connection with the case.

According to El Heraldo, the attack resembled two other recent massacres in the country. All three cases were perpetrated by heavily armed, masked men, who waited until police were between their nightly rounds.

Authorities believe the attack may have been linked to criminal rivalries.

“Our hypothesis based on the modus operandi of criminal groups is that we are looking at a case of a dispute between two groups for some illicit business,” said National Police Director Ramon Sabillon, according to La Prensa.

Leandro Osorio, the director of the National Criminal Investigation Unit (DNIC), said that the idea of a criminal vendetta was supported by the fact that another Terrero family member was killed in January.

InSight Crime Analysis

While it is not yet clear who perpetrated the crime or what their motives were, the heavy weaponry and professional dress of the attackers suggests they belonged to an organized gang.

Massacres in Honduras — the world’s most dangerous country outside a war zone — are frequent and are often linked to organized crime. According to Proceso, there have been four mass killings  in Honduras in the past month, with a total of 26 victims, all thought to be linked to disputes between criminal groups. Last year, there were an average of 10 massacres a month in the first nine months.

SEE ALSO: Honduras News and Profiles

If the most recent massacre resulted from a criminal dispute, it could have been triggered by shake-ups in both the Honduran and regional underworlds. Authorities believe that a series of killings earlier this year in San Pedro Sula were fallout from the capture and extradition of Honduran drug capo Carlos “El Negro” Lobo. The city is also a strategic operating platform for Mexico‘s Sinaloa Cartel, whose top leader, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, was arrested in February, sending shockwaves through the drug business. Meanwhile, there are a growing number of Honduran drug trafficking groups fighting for control of territory.

Events like this are a reminder that despite the Honduran government’s dubious claim that murders are decreasing, deadly violence is common and often unpunished.

Fuente: http://www.insightcrime.org/news-briefs/who-behind-honduras-morgue-massacre

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Honduras Seizes Luxury Properties in Move Against Valle Drug Family

One of the Valle Valle properties seized One of the Valle Valle properties seized

Authorities in Honduras have seized 52 properties belonging to one of the country’s premier drug trafficking groups — the Valle family — in a move that could represent the beginning of a larger assault on the powerful clan.

On August 18, authorities seized properties belonging to siblings Luis Alfonso, Miguel Arnulfo, Digna and Deisy Valle Valle in the provinces of Copan and Cortes. The operation involved over 200 police, prosecutors and personnel from the Administrative Office of Seized Assets (OABI), reported La Prensa.

The properties included various residences and terrains, five estates, a farm, a hardware store, a cattle ranching business and a cafe. The residences were fitted out with luxury items, including pools, jacuzzis and bars. In one home, there was even a zone for erotic dance performances and a “mini-hotel” for housing special guests, reported El Heraldo.

No arrests were made during the operation, reported La Tribuna. Authorities found the properties completely empty of any signs of life, reported El Heraldo. According to the regional commander of the special force Fusina, German Alfaro, the suspects had likely fled following the July capture of Digna Valle Valle in the United States.

Other Valle properties are thought to be held currently in the names of front men.

InSight Crime Analysis

Luis Alfonso and Miguel Arnulfo allegedly run drug trafficking operations mainly out of the western Copan province — on the border with Guatemala — using a small criminal network. The Valles are thought to move up to 20 tons of cocaine a month through Honduras, mainly destined for the Sinaloa Cartel, with their operations facilitated by local government protection.

SEE ALSO: Valles Profile

Following on from the US arrest of Digna Valle Valle, the recent property seizures could represent the beginning of a wider move against the group in Honduras, likely spurred by pressure from the United States, which has indicted the family.

It is also one of several moves indicating Honduras’ government is targeting previously untouchable criminals. Last September, authorities seized $800 million in assets from the Cachiros — Honduras’ other major transport group — also in the face of US pressure. Earlier this month, 17 properties were confiscated from the children of former drug trafficker Juan Ramon Matta Ballesteros, and this past spring, Honduras completed its first extradition to the US of a major drug trafficker.

However, the question is what happens next. With no charges yet filed against any member of the Valles in Honduras, it is possible the property seizures are little more than a surface-level show put on for the US authorities. On the other hand, authorities may be purposely not issuing charges since any charges levied in Honduras could complicate extradition processes further down the line.

Fuente. http://www.insightcrime.org/news-briefs/honduras-valle-property-seizures

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Spate of Killings Illustrates Sinaloa Cartel Presence in Honduras

Four of the men killed so far Four of the men killed so far – La Prensa

Reported infighting within Mexico‘s Sinaloa Cartel in Honduras has added to the bloodshed in San Pedro Sula, providing a grim demonstration of the group’s notable presence in this Central American nation’s second-largest city.

The most recent killing — on May 26 — reads like something from a Hollywood movie: two police uniform-clad assassins hunted down and killed their target in a supermarket, following a midday car chase through the streets of the city. Two innocent bystanders also died in the attack.

The dead Honduran man, Dennys Roberto Bonilla Guzman, reportedly helped rob a Sinaloa Cartel stash house alongside Mexican father and son Juan Jose Lopez and Adolfo Leon Lopez, who were gunned down together less than a week earlier. A police raid on Bonilla’s residence uncovered heavy weapons, drugs and $680,000.

The three men were reportedly close associates of Nelson Molina, a Guatemalan man described by La Prensa as the second-in-command of the criminal group, who was murdered in his home on April 29. Following Molina’s death, the three apparently decided to make off with the money, prompting other cartel operatives to go after them.

Altogether, ten people — among them Mexicans, Hondurans, a Guatemalan and a Venezuelan — have been killed as a result of recent cartel infighting, reported La Prensa.

According to La Prensa, authorities said the fighting may be tied to the recent capture and extradition of Honduran narco Carlos “El Negro” Lobo, who the US government says was a key cocaine provider to the Sinaloa Cartel.  

InSight Crime Analysis

In normal circumstances, this carnage may not have raised many eyebrows in a city with a reported homicide rate of 187 per 100,000 people. However, the idea it is linked to an internal dispute within the Sinaloa Cartel is notable.

Sources close to InSight Crime have suggested San Pedro Sula is second only to Sinaloa state capital Culiacan in Mexico among urban centers critical to the group’s activities.

SEE ALSO: Honduras News and Profiles

Honduras is a key transit country for drug shipments heading to the United States via Mexico, and San Pedro Sula, as a major center of drug and gang violence and home to a corrupt and overburdened security apparatus, is an ideal staging ground for cartel activity.

While La Prensa indicates the recent killings are the product of factional violence follwing the capture of a crime boss, InSight Crime sources have suggested the most significant Sinaloa Cartel operative in Honduras is still active in the city. It remains to be seen whether this leader can restore order, or whether these ten deaths will be the first of many.

Fuente: http://www.insightcrime.org/news-briefs/spate-of-killings-illustrates-sinaloa-cartel-presence-in-honduras

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Cárteles mexicanos ligados a crímenes en el norte de Honduras

Según pesquisas oficiales, el crimen de Bonilla está ligado al de dos mexicanos asesinados la semana anterior en otro punto de la capital industrial de Honduras.

Miembros de la Policía Nacional Preventiva confirmaron hoy que encontraron unos 680 mil dólares durante un allanamiento hecho dentro de la vivienda de Dennys Bonilla.
Bonilla murió en una balacera ocurrida el lunes. En este suceso murieron tres personas. Las autoridades ligan el crimen con acciones del cartel de Sinaloa, que tiene uno de sus potentes brazos en el noroccidente hondureño.
En la casa de Bonilla las fuerzas del orden también incautaron armas de grueso poder que el ahora occiso mantenía en su haber, entre ellas: cuatro fusiles R-15, 18 cargadores de fusil, cuatro pistolas, cinco chalecos, tres máquinas para contar dinero y varias computadoras portátiles.
Según pesquisas oficiales, el crimen de Bonilla está ligado al de dos mexicanos asesinados la semana anterior en otro punto de la capital industrial de Honduras.

Fuente: http://www.radiohrn.hn/l/noticias/c%C3%A1rteles-mexicanos-ligados-cr%C3%ADmenes-en-el-norte-de-honduras

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