The United States Treasury Department has designated a little-known Guatemalan woman as major criminal force in the country, as well as the region.
The Treasury added Marllory Dadiana Chacon Rossell, as well as seven other individuals and companies·to its list of Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers, preventing US citizens from doing business with any of them.
According to a press release by the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the 39-year-old Guatemalan woman is “one of the most prolific narcotics traffickers in Central America,” whose connections to Mexican cartels make her a “critical figure” in the drug trade.
Chacon is also accused of running a money laundering network with operations in Honduras and Panama, using a string of individuals and companies across the region to launder illicit profits. The OFAC claims that she is “the most active money launderer in Guatemala.”
InSight Crime Analysis
The Treasury’s organizational chart of Chacon’s network (see below) provides an interesting look into her criminal ventures. As InSight Crime has pointed out, it is relatively rare for a woman to be at the helm of such a large scale criminal organization, giving orders to men.
Women that are, such as Sandra Avila, the “Queen of the Pacific,” frequently owe much of their power to either family ties or romantic connections with influential men. But the case of Marllory Chacon is different. The OFAC press release says that her husband merely provides “logistical support for his wife’s organization,” suggesting that Chacon is the organization’s sole leader.
As occurred in Mexico with Sandra Avila, the Guatemalan press is sure to have a field day with this indictment. One publication, the Guatemala City-based elPeriodico, is already referring to Chacon as “The Narco Queen.” Despite this hype, it is worth remembering that she is far from the largest criminal threat in the country. Powerful crime families such as the Mendozas and Lorenzanas exert an immense amount of influence in Guatemala, and Mexican groups such as the Zetas and the Sinaloa Cartel have drastically increased their operations there over the past few years.