HomeNewsBriefGuatemala Mayor’s Brother Tied to Major El Salvador Cocaine Seizure
BRIEF

Guatemala Mayor’s Brother Tied to Major El Salvador Cocaine Seizure

COCAINE / 5 JUN 2017 BY PARKER ASMANN EN

Authorities in El Salvador have intercepted a cocaine shipment with alleged ties to political elites in Guatemala, further indicating how corruption and political protection are helping to fuel drug trafficking operations in Central America.

Last week, Salvadoran authorities intercepted a fishing boat transporting 840 kilograms of cocaine worth more than $21 million, the largest seizure ever recorded by El Salvador’s navy, Prensa Libre reported.

Among the ship’s crew of four Guatemalans and one Ecuadorean was Jorge Marroquín Fuentes, the brother of the mayor of Moyuta, a town in Guatemala’s Jutiapa department along the southern border with El Salvador.

Moyuta’s mayor, Carlos Roberto Marroquín Flores, reportedly has had disputes with another Guatemalan elite turned criminal, Marixa Ethelinda Lemus Pérez, alias “La Patrona,” who was recaptured by Salvadoran authorities on May 25 after escaping from a Guatemalan prison earlier that month.

Lemus Pérez is accused of heading a criminal network responsible for multiple kidnappings and murders during and after the time that her and her family exercised control over Moyuta while her brother, Magno Lemus, was mayor between 2008 and 2011.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Elites and Organized Crime

Shortly after her escape, Carlos Marroquín stated that Lemus Pérez wanted to reestablish her criminal ties in Moyuta and that he feared for his life, Prensa Libre reported separately on May 16. Lemus Pérez reportedly blames Carlos Marroquín for her sister’s death after she challenged him in Moyuta’s 2011 general elections, Guatevisión reported in May.

InSight Crime Analysis

This recent drug bust further emphasizes the role that corruption and political protection play in allowing criminal structures in Central America to move drug shipments throughout the region. The nearly one ton of cocaine that was seized is a significant amount for Central American players and demonstrates their capacity to traffic drugs in large quantities.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Cocaine Production

Colombia is currently experiencing a surge in coca production, and this in turn is affecting the role of Central American countries in the international drug trade. As a result, the geography of Guatemala’s municipality of Moyuta has turned local politics into a cutthroat business. After her sister was killed in 2011, Lemus Pérez told elPeriódico in 2015 that the bad blood between herself and Carlos Marroquín in part stems from his desire to “remove all the competition [in Motuya] in order to control the territory.”

SEE ALSO: Guatemala News and Profiles

The dispute illustrates the importance drug traffickers place on controlling political levers of power in order to further their illicit activities. This dynamic is further highlighted by reports that Carlos Marroquín spent more than $100,000 of the municipality’s money to armour his vehicle in addition to hiring more than 15 security guards to protect himself and his family from the danger he felt they were in, according to Prensa Libre.

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.

Related Content

BARRIO 18 / 25 JAN 2012

El Salvador’s police have claimed that the country’s “maras,” or street gangs, are planning an all-out attack on security forces,…

BRAZIL / 11 SEP 2017

Brazil's top prosecutor has charged several former and current senators with receiving bribes and being part of a "criminal…

ARGENTINA / 16 MAR 2017

The latest drug raid in a border town in Argentina resulted in the arrest of the mayor and several other…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Strategic Communications Manager Job Description

12 FEB 2021

InSight Crime is looking for a full-time strategic communications manager. This person needs to be able to work in a fast-paced world of daily news, high-profile investigations, national and international…

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.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …