Guatemalan officials claim that recently-arrested Alvaro Gomez Sanchez, alias "El Sapo," was responsible for overseeing the logistics and finances of Zetas' operations in the country.
Gomez, an alleged high-ranking lieutenant for drug trafficker Horst Walther Overdick, was arrested in Baja Verapaz on Friday. Now authorities have said he was a top coordinator of the Zetas' activies, using bribes and coercion to tame various officials, including politicians, police, prosecutors, and judges, in order to facilitate drug trafficking operations.
InSight Crime Analysis
Overdick has not been formally charged with a crime, and officially acts as a purchaser and purveyor of cardamom. Gomez comes from a cardamom-producing family, and supposedly allied himself with Overdick using shipments of the product as a cover for drug trafficking.
According to prosecutors, Overdick and Gomez allied themselves with the Zetas in order to murder Juan Leon, boss of the Leones criminal organization, in March 2008. Using the expertise of Gomez and Overdick, the Zetas were able to establish widescale operations in the country.
InSight Crime initially suggested that Gomez would be easily replaced in the Overdick-Zetas organization, but the new information regarding his role may mean that the arrest is more significant than at first thought. Though the network will most likely be able to maintain its contacts, Gomez’s capture could be a serious blow to the logistical side of operations.