Colombia: Narco-trafficker with ties to Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel sentenced to prison
By Dialogo October 06, 2014
Until Colombian anti-narcotics police arrested her in March, Lucia Inés Cifuentes Villa – known as “The Mother” – helped the Sinaloa Cartel traffic large amounts of cocaine to Ecuador, México, and the United States. But those days are over.
In September, a Colombian judge sentenced The Mother to 11 years and six months in prison after she pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges. She had helped arrange the transport of more than eight tons of cocaine to Ecuador in 2009, a load that the Ecuadorean security forces interdicted. The Mother was a key member of the Cifuentes Villa drug trafficking clan, according to Colombian federal prosecutors. That organization is allied with the Sinaloa Cartel, a Mexican transnational criminal organization which engages in large-scale drug trafficking.
In 2011, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) levied financial sanctions against The Mother after naming her to its list of major international narco-traffickers. Those sanctions, established under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act, froze all assets held by The Mother, making it illegal for any U.S. entity or citizen to conduct financial or commercial transactions with them. Since June 2000, OFAC has designated more than 1,300 businesses and individuals linked to 103 drug kingpins.
Anti-narcotics agents with the Colombian National Police (PNC) captured her and three other Cifuentes Villa members in March during operations in the departments of Risaralda and Nariño.
Honduran National Police capture alleged drug trafficker Alexander Suazo Peralta
While Colombian prosecutors obtained a guilty plea from The Mother in September, Honduran National Police used intelligence to arrest alleged drug trafficker Alexander Suazo Peralta September 10 near the city of La Ceiba along the Caribbean coast, according to the Honduran Security Ministry.
After intercepting telecommunications by Suazo Peralta over the course of three days, police arrested him as he drove an unmarked pickup truck through the Sambo Creek community. He was running a drug trafficking ring that had once been led by Carlos Arnoldo Lobo, who was extradited to the United States in May. Lobo is also known as “The Black” or “The Black Wolf.”
The U.S. is also seeking the extradition of Suazo Peralta. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) accuses Suazo Peralta of trafficking narcotics between South America and the United States.