HomeNewsBriefGuatemala Extradites Zetas Leader to Mexico
BRIEF

Guatemala Extradites Zetas Leader to Mexico

EXTRADITION / 3 APR 2015 BY DAVID GAGNE EN

Guatemala's authorities have extradited a founding member of the Mexican criminal organization the Zetas back to his homeland, the man who led the criminal group's incursion into this Central American nation in 2008.

Guatemala handed over Daniel Perez Rojas, alias “el Cachetes,” to Mexican authorities on March 31, Guatemala's Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced in a press release. In 2010, Perez Rojas was sentenced to 47 years in prison for taking part in a 2008 massacre that left 11 dead, including prominent Guatemalan trafficker Juan Leon Ardon, alias "Juancho" Leon, reported elPeriodico.

However, in July 2013 Guatemalan authorities agreed to extradite Perez Rojas to Mexico, saying there were no further cases against him. Perez Rojas is wanted in Mexico on drug trafficking charges

Perez Rojas previously worked as a bodyguard for the former leader of Mexico's Gulf Cartel, Osiel Cardenas Guillen, and was a founding member of the Zetas, Cardenas Guillen's special forces. The Zetas split from the Gulf Cartel following the arrest and extradition of Cardenas to the United States.

InSight Crime Analysis

Perez Rojas represents the end of a long and bloody chapter of Guatemalan underworld history. He was a prominent figure in the Zetas' push into Guatemala; the killing of Juancho Leon and 10 of his bodyguards in 2008 established the criminal organization's presence in that country. 

The Zetas used their trademark violence to take control of drug routes in Guatemala. They worked closely with one of the country's top traffickers at the time, Walther Overdick. At one point the Zetas had around 100 soldiers in the country, and developed contacts that enabled them to obtain weapons and training from elements in the Guatemalan military.

SEE ALSO: Zetas News and Profile

However, in 2011 authorities in Guatemala began arresting key components of the Zetas criminal structure, such as Hugo Alvaro Gomez Vasquez in 2011, and and Overdick in April 2012. By 2013, the Zetas were largely run out of Guatemala, leaving a power vacuum that was mostly filled by local transport groups. 

The handing over of Perez Rojas to Mexican authorities also suggests relations between the two countries are still improving. His extradition follows the 2013 capture in Mexico of Eduardo Francisco Villatoro Cano, alias "Guayo Cano," the head of a Guatemalan drug trafficking ring that is accused of killing nine police officers.

Mexico's arrest of influential Zetas operatives in Guatemala, including William de Jesus Torres Solorzano, alias "W," and Mauricio Guizar Cardenas, alias “Z200” in 2012, is further indication the two countries are collaborating on bringing high-profile criminals to justice. 

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 AZUL / 28 AUG 2014

The captured son of Sinaloa Cartel leader "El Azul" has testified his father is dead, but his statement is unlikely…

ELITES AND CRIME / 26 AUG 2020

A Guatemala political operator accused of taking millions in bribes has surrendered after four years as a fugitive and is…

ELITES AND CRIME / 26 OCT 2019

The guilty plea of Mario Estrada, a former Guatemalan presidential candidate, to conspiring to import cocaine into the United States…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Guatemala Social Insecurity Investigation Makes Front Page News

10 DEC 2021

InSight Crime’s latest investigation into a case of corruption within Guatemala's social security agency linked to the deaths of patients with kidney disease made waves in…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela El Dorado Investigation Makes Headlines

3 DEC 2021

InSight Crime's investigation into the trafficking of illegal gold in Venezuela's Amazon region generated impact on both social media and in the press. Besides being republished and mentioned by several…

THE ORGANIZATION

Gender and Investigative Techniques Focus of Workshops

26 NOV 2021

On November 23-24, InSight Crime conducted a workshop called “How to Cover Organized Crime: Investigation Techniques and A Focus on Gender.” The session convened reporters and investigators from a dozen…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Names Two New Board Members

19 NOV 2021

In recent weeks, InSight Crime added two new members to its board. Joy Olson is the former executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America…

THE ORGANIZATION

Senate Commission in Paraguay Cites InSight Crime

12 NOV 2021

InSight Crime’s reporting and investigations often reach the desks of diplomats, security officials and politicians. The latest example occurred in late October during a commission of Paraguay's Senate that tackled…