Reports suggested that Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman uses Guatemala and Honduras as hideouts, aided by his connections to political elites in the Central American countries.
According to US and regional anti-drug officials consulted by El Universal, Joaquin Guzman, alilas “El Chapo,” has been using Guatemala and Honduras as a hideout and base of operations. The newspaper reported that the infamous leader of the Sinaloa Cartel has allegedly attended parties in Copan, a western province of Honduras, and established connections with corrupt security officials, politicians and businessmen in the two countries.
Mauricio Lopez, the Guatemalan interior minister, denied the newspaper’s claims, calling them “a rural legend.” However, El Chapo’s presence in the region was confirmed in 2010 by the Honduran minister of public security, who admitted that El Chapo had been in the Central American country.
InSight Crime Analysis
The Sinaloa Cartel is known to have stepped up its presence in Central America recently. In June, Guatemalan authorities arrested an alleged Sinaloa Cartel operative, who is believed to have served as a link between the Mexican cartel and a Guatemalan crime family, the Lorenzanas. The Sinaloa Cartel is also suspected of using Guatemala as a base for large-scale methamphetamine production.
El Chapo has also been rumored to use Argentina and Bolivia to hide from authorities. Argentine media reported that El Chapo began living in the country with his wife and stepdaughter in 2010, and left in March 2011 when the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) began pursuing an arrest order. Meanwhile, the Bolivian government is investigating whether the drug kingpin and his son at some point sought refuge in the Andean country.