HomeNewsBriefHas Extradited Guatemala Criminal 'Patriarch' Turned US Informant?
BRIEF

Has Extradited Guatemala Criminal 'Patriarch' Turned US Informant?

EXTRADITION / 19 AUG 2014 BY CAMILO MEJIA EN

The extradited former head of Guatemala's Lorenzana criminal organization has pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges after reportedly being offered a deal by US authorities, something likely to become commonplace as more and more Guatemalan criminals are extradited to the United States.

According to the United States Department of Justice, 75 year-old Waldemar Lorenzana Lima, whose organization has been linked to transnational drug cartels from Colombia and Mexico, pleaded guilty to conspiring to import more than 450 kilos of cocaine into the United States. Between 1996 and 2009, his organization allegedly transported "massive quantities of cocaine" to US soil via El Salvador and Guatemala, using go-fast boats and airplanes.

Lorenzana's guilty plea came just days after his lawyer told Siglo 21 that US authorities had approached the former capo with an undisclosed deal. 

Lorenzana faces a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison and a minimum of five years, reported Reuters. The date for sentencing has not yet been determined.

InSight Crime Analysis

Lorenzana, also known as the "Patriarch," was detained in Guatemala in April 2011 and extradited to the United States in March 2014. His organization allegedly has a longstanding relationship with Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel, and Lorenzana maintained ties with many of Guatemala's premier drug traffickers. His sons Eliu and Waldemar have also been arrested for their involvement with the organization, and currently await extradition to the United States. Three other family members are wanted by authorities.

SEE ALSO: Lorenzanas Profile

Lorenzana's guilty plea comes at a time when various other Guatemalan drug trafficking leaders are being prosecuted in the United States, among them Walther Overdick, alias "El Tigre," and Juan Alberto Ortiz Lopez, alias "Juan Chamale." A major drug trafficker and cocaine thief, Jairo Orellana Morales, alias "El Pelon," is also currently awaiting possible extradition.

There has been little information available regarding the status of these cases, something that may well indicates cooperation is occurring behind the scenes. As extraditions become increasingly common in Guatemala, it is likely that the sorts of plea bargains Lorenzana likely made will become a trend. 

Cooperation agreements have long been common between the United States and extradited Colombian cartel leaders, such as the Rastrojos' Javier Calle Serna, alias "Comba." While the details of these deals are rarely disclosed, they commonly involve the exchange of information about drug trafficking networks in exchange for more lenient sentences, the protection of properties and assets, and the protection of family members.

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

GUATEMALA / 19 JUL 2012

Guatemalan Congress is currently considering a law that would make the activation of a stolen cell phone punishable by up…

BARRIO 18 / 3 MAY 2017

Legislators in Guatemala have proposed a new bill aimed at attacking the country's gangs by increasing fines and prison…

ELITES AND CRIME / 21 OCT 2020

Prosecutors in Guatemala say they have linked a multimillion-dollar cash seizure to a high-ranking minister that served under former President…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution Met With Uproar

6 MAY 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime launched its latest investigation, Venezuela’s Cocaine Revolution¸ accompanied by a virtual panel on its findings. The takeaways from this three-year effort, including the fact that Venezuela…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…