- Authorities have arrested Raul Sabori Cisneros, an alleged lieutenant for the Sinaloa Cartel, reports El Universal. Cisneros is reportedly the number two commander in the state of Sonora, answering directly to Joaquin Loera Guzman, alias “El Chapo.” In July 2010 Cisnero’s gunmen led an attack against a faction of the dissident Beltran-Leyva Cartel in Tubutama, which left 21 people dead. This is the most high-ranking leader of the Sinaloa Cartel arrested so far this year. The Mexican government has previously been accused of concentrating their efforts on persecuting the cartel’s rivals, while Guzman is believed to remain in Guanacevi, Durango, according to one U.S. official.
- In Guatemala, a district court has issued a new arrest warrant against members of the Lorenzana family, believed to work alongside the Sinaloa Cartel. According to ElPeriodico, five members of the Lorenzana clan, including patriach Waldermar Lorenzana, have been wanted on drug-trafficking charges in the U.S. since 2009. In Guatemala, an arrest warrant against the family was suspended in an April 2010 ruling, a decision that was overturned this year by the Constitutional Court.
- On April 13 Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents, in a joint operation with local narcotics police in the Dominican Republic, announced the arrest of seven suspects believed to have links with Colombian and Mexico drug-trafficking organizations. Dubbed the “cartel of Cibao,” after a region on the island’s northern coast, the arrests were made in connection to the seizure of 161 kilos of cocaine in a port city last week, reports newspaper Listin. Authorities would not confirm if the group was working in conjunction with the organization of Puerto Rican trafficker, Jose Figueroa Capsula, who controlled much of the cocaine trade in the Caribbean before his arrest in July 2009.
- The Colombian government has confirmed the extradition of Walid Makled, who will be handed over to President Hugo Chavez’s government despite protest from the U.S., where Makled is also wanted on drug trafficking charges. The move has already sparked criticism from U.S. officials like Representative Connie Mack (R-FL), Chair of the U.S. House’s Western Hemisphere Subcommittee, who in a statement expressed “extreme disappointment” with the decision. The extradition order appears to be an offer of goodwill towards Venezuela, as part of Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos’ agenda to improve relations between the two countries. Makled has claimed he did business with high-ranking officials in Chavez’s government.
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