HomeNewsBriefGuatemala Arrests 'El Chapo Operative'
BRIEF

Guatemala Arrests 'El Chapo Operative'

EL CHAPO / 22 MAY 2013 BY MARIO CARRILLO EN

Guatemala's authorities arrested an alleged member of Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel on May 20, the latest supposed accomplice from the Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman-led crime syndicate to fall.

Proceso reports that Jose Samuel Escobar, 20, was carrying a gun, assault rifle cartridges, jewelry, and more than $128,000 when he was apprehended. According to Guatemala's Interior Minister Mauricio Lopez, Escobar's group was threatening to kill police officers if they did not call off the operation, a telling sign, he said, that the members are aligned with the Sinaloa Cartel.

Lopez said Monday's arrest was part of a larger operation led by the country's security forces. The mission was to find an armed group who were hiding in a neighborhood located in the municipality of Malacatan, near the Mexican border.

InSight Crime Analysis

Notably, Escobar's arrest took place in the San Marcos department of Guatemala, near the country's Pacific coast, one of the smuggling routes being fought over by the warring drug gangs, and currently controlled by the Sinaloans.

However, authorities in Guatemala have been known to push questionable information about drug organizations in the past, most notably the false report that Guzman died in the jungles of Peten during a shootout earlier this year. There has also been at least one other case in which Guatemalan authorities arrested an alleged Sinaloa Cartel contact, only to see the detainee go free after the courts ruled there was insufficient evidence to hold him.

Guatemala is reportedly witness to persistent fighting between the Sinaloa Cartel and rival organization the Zetas. The two groups have been battling over three lucrative smuggling routes that cross through Guatemala, two of which, according to President Otto Perez, are controlled by the Zetas. 

The Zetas have operated in Guatemala since 2007. The Sinaloa Cartel has been in the country much longer, and has recently shifted some of its production of methamphetamine to the country. 

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

EL CHAPO / 28 FEB 2014

With Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman now back in a cage many analysts and ordinary Mexicans alike fret about the expected…

MEXICO / 8 MAR 2012

With the election of Mexico’s next president less than four months away, his party's record on organized crime could be…

ELITES AND CRIME / 20 JUL 2015

Guatemala's probe into corrupt dealings by its customs authority has shaken the nation and arguably threatened the presidency. How…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.

THE ORGANIZATION

Series on Environmental Crime in the Amazon Generates Headlines

17 SEP 2021

InSight Crime and the Igarapé Institute have been delighted at the response to our joint investigation into environmental crimes in the Colombian Amazon. Coverage of our chapters dedicated to illegal mining…