HomeGuatemalaHorst Walther Overdick, alias “El Tigre”
GUATEMALA

Horst Walther Overdick, alias "El Tigre"

GUATEMALA PERSONALITIES / LATEST UPDATE 2019-05-13 EN

Horst Walther Overdick, alias "El Tigre," was one of the biggest drug traffickers in Guatemala and a key facilitator of the Zetas' expansion. He was reportedly captured in April 2012.

History

Overdick, the son of a former mayor, was born in the northern province of Alta Verapaz. He started out as a cardamom trader and used the experience and connections he made buying cardamom from local suppliers to move contraband. Eventually, Overdick moved to drug trafficking and transported large loads of cocaine from South America through Guatemala on the way to the United States. He also allegedly built clandestine runways and stored cocaine in Guatemalan warehouses.

Horst Walther Overdick Factbox

DOB: July 31, 1967

Group: Ran his own cocaine transport group

Criminal Activities: Drug trafficking

Status: Extradited to the US in December 2012

Area of Operation: Guatemala

When the Zetas began to operate in Guatemala in 2007, Overdick allied himself with the brutal Mexican cartel to drive out a rival contraband family, the Leones, so that Overdick could control the highly strategic Zacapa corridor, a border state used for moving drug shipments.

Thanks to his connections with military and political officials, Overdick did not have to keep a low profile. He attended public events with high-level public officials and even played on a local soccer team against the governor of Alta Verapaz.

According to US and Guatemalan authorities, by the time he was captured Overdick had risen to become one of the top criminal leaders in Guatemala.

Criminal Activities

Overdick transported cocaine from South America through Guatemala en route to the United States. He was also involved in the contraband trade.

Geography

Overdick's base of operations was in the northern Guatemalan province of Alta Verapaz.

Allies and Enemies

Overdick teamed up with some of the largest Guatemalan drug traffickers, including Ottoniel Turcios, who was arrested in 2010 in Belize and extradited to the United States to face trial for drug trafficking. He also had close ties to the Lorenzana family, a long-time contraband family involved in drug trafficking.

At the time of his capture, Overdick had an alliance with the Zetas. This alliance was convenient for both parties. The Overdick group benefited from the Zetas' firepower, training and brutal tactics that strike fear in their rivals. The Zetas benefited from Overdick's local connections in the political and business worlds, as well as his links with current and former Guatemalan military.

Prospects

Guatemalan authorities reported that Overdick had been captured in San Lucas, west of Guatemala City, in April 2012. He was extradited to the United States in December 2012.

After serving his sentence for drug trafficking in the United States, Overdick was released from prison in April 2019 before being deported back to Guatemala the following month.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

GUATEMALA / 3 APR 2012

Horst Walther Overdick, the man who helped the feared Mexican Zetas drug gang cement their power in northern Guatemala, has…

GUATEMALA PERSONALITIES / 19 JAN 2011

Until his arrest in March 2011, Juan Alberto Ortiz Lopez, alias "Juan Chamale," was ranked by the United States Drug…

GUATEMALA / 19 FEB 2012

Guatemalan authorities captured a top lieutenant of the country's most powerful organized criminal gang, continuing an impressive offensive against the…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Combating Environmental Crime in Colombia

15 JUN 2021

InSight Crime presented findings from an investigation into the main criminal activities fueling environmental destruction in Colombia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Collaborating on Citizen Security Initiatives

8 JUN 2021

Co-director Steven Dudley worked with Chemonics, a DC-based development firm, to analyze the organization’s citizen security programs in Mexico.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Deepens Its Connections with Universities

31 MAY 2021

A partnership with the University for Peace will complement InSight Crime’s research methodology and expertise on Costa Rica.

THE ORGANIZATION

With Support from USAID, InSight Crime Will Investigate Organized Crime in Haiti

31 MAY 2021

The project will seek to map out Haiti's principal criminal economies, profile the specific groups and actors, and detail their links to elements of the state.

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.