Associate of “Chapo” Guzmán Arrested in Colombia
By Dialogo August 12, 2011
The Colombian police arrested Dolly Cifuentes Villa, accused of laundering money for the fugitive head of the Sinaloa cartel, Joaquín “Chapo” Guzmán, in a sign of the ties that link Colombian drug-trafficking groups with those of Mexico.
Cifuentes, 47 years old, was arrested in Envigado, near the city of Medellín, 220 kilometers northwest of Bogotá, in an operation that had U.S. support.
“She dedicated herself to generating an entire criminal enterprise around El Chapo Guzmán, based especially on the establishment of a spectrum of businesses that operated through straw men to launder assets for the Sinaloa cartel,” explained Gen. Oscar Naranjo, director of the Colombian police.
Cifuentes Villa opened import offices in Colombia, Panama, Mexico, Brazil, and the United States, valued at more than 200 million dollars. Through those offices, Guzmán laundered sums of money in the millions and accumulated abundant wealth in real estate, Naranjo affirmed.
Cifuentes Villa, sought for extradition by the United States, is the sister of Francisco Cifuentes, murdered in 2007, who was the personal pilot of the slain head of the Medellín cartel, Pablo Escobar.
According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), other siblings of the detainee partnered with Guzmán and sent 30 tons of cocaine to North America in the last three years.
The Sinaloa cartel has consolidated its position as the dominant drug-trafficking group in Mexico due to its ability to corrupt authorities and the diversification and internationalization of its activities.
In recent years, the Colombian cartels have become partners of and cocaine suppliers to the Mexicans, who now control the business and are waging a bloody war against President Felipe Calderón’s administration.