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

ELITES AND CRIME / 18 MAY 2022

Guatemala has reappointed Attorney General Consuelo Porras for a second term despite her track record as a shield for top…

BARRIO 18 / 14 SEP 2022

In the mountains of Michoacán, Mexico, Carlos was trained to become a ruthless soldier for the Cárteles Unidos.

ELITES AND CRIME / 3 SEP 2021

A Guatemalan court has issued an arrest warrant for exiled anti-corruption prosecutor Juan Francisco Sandoval, ending any chance that he…

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…