El Chapo charged with 12 killings; Mexican cartel leader commits suicide

By Dialogo
October 16, 2014



Before the Mexican Marines captured him in February, Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán, the longtime leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, was the world’s most-wanted drug kingpin. U.S. federal authorities have accused him and his cartel of trafficking large amounts of cocaine, heroin, and synthetic drugs into the United States.

In a new 48-page federal indictment, U.S. authorities charge El Chapo and his top lieutenant, Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, with ordering 12 killings and dozens of other acts of violence to promote the Sinaloa Cartel’s criminal activities. The two drug kingpins ordered the killings of Mexican law enforcement agents, members of the military, public officials, and rival drug cartel leaders, the indictment alleges.

The 21-count indictment accuses El Chapo and El Mayo of directing hit men to commit “hundreds of acts of violence, including murders, assaults, kidnappings, assassinations and acts of torture.” Handed down by a federal grand jury in Brooklyn, New York, it was unsealed in late September.

The indictment accuses El Chapo and El Mayo with ordering the 2008 killing of Roberto Velasco Bravo, who was the head of the Mexico’s Organized Crime Investigation Unit. A gunman or gunmen shot him to death in the Tepito neighborhood of Mexico City.

The two drug kingpins also allegedly ordered the 2008 killing of Rafael Ramírez Jaime, who was an official in the State of Mexico’s Attorney General’s office. A gunman or gunmen shot him to death in his home near Mexico City.

El Chapo has been imprisoned since Mexican Marines captured him in his seaside apartment in Mazatlán on February 22.

El Mayo, who remains at large, has replaced El Chapo as the leader of the “largest drug trafficking organization in the world,” according to the indictment. It further alleges that he and El Chapo used their “network of corrupt police and political contacts” to oversee “a large-scale narcotics transportation network involving the use of land, air and sea transportation assets, shipping multi-ton quantities of cocaine from South America, through Central America and Mexico, and finally into the U.S.”.

In addition to ordering the killings of law enforcement officials, El Chapo and El Mayo also directed the assassinations of drug cartel rivals. For example, the two drug kingpins allegedly ordered the 2004 killing of Rodolfo Carrillo Fuentes, who was a leader of the Juárez Cartel. He was known as “The Golden Child.” Gunmen shot The Golden Child to death in in the parking lot of a movie theater in the Sinaloa state capital in of Culiacán in 2004.

Federal authorities in five U.S. states have previously indicted El Chapo for drug trafficking, homicide, and other crimes. In addition to New York, El Chapo is facing federal charges in the states of California, Texas, Florida, New Hampshire, and Illinois. Mexican military and law enforcement officials suspect El Mayo is in hiding in the mountains in the state of Sinaloa, where the cartel’s operations are based.

Mexican drug cartel leader kills himself to avoid arrest


Even as El Chapo faces charges while under arrest, Benjamín Mondragón Pereda, the leader of the Guerrero Unidos Cartel, committed suicide October 14 to avoid being arrested in the city of Juitepec in the state of Morelos.

“When he saw that there was no escape, he shot himself,” said Gonzalo Ponce, a spokesman for the Mexican government.

The Guerrero Unidos Cartel is suspected of transporting large amounts of marijuana and heroin to the U.S. city of Chicago in the state of Illinois.


U.S. donates helicopters to bolster the Honduran Army’s counter-narcotics fight


Meanwhile, thanks to international cooperation, the Honduran Army’s 4th Battalion’s airborne efforts to fight drug trafficking is getting a boost.

The United States recently donated several CH-47F Chinook and UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters to the Honduran Army, aircraft which will enable the Honduran military to reach narco-trafficking hotbeds in remote areas more quickly. The helicopters will transport troops to areas in the departments of Gracias a Dios, Colón and Olancho in a matter of hours. Without the aircraft, it would typically take as many as eight days to transport troops to such areas, by land and sea.

The helicopters will help Honduran troops in multiple ways.

“The fact that (the U.S. military) provides us with logistics and personnel transportation support allows us to have more training time which results in a better performance in the Gracias a Dios region,” said Honduras Army Lt Col. Norman Bustillo, the Joint Chief of Staff's operations director.

“This support is vital for us. It saves us time, minimizes risks and gives us an enhanced operational capacity. We’ve always had a good relationship with the U.S. Armed Forces. They’ve always helped us with training and cooperation and that strengthens our country.”

The helicopters will also help Honduras provide public safety while it builds schools and health care facilities and maintains important infrastructure, such as roads and bridges.




Before the Mexican Marines captured him in February, Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán, the longtime leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, was the world’s most-wanted drug kingpin. U.S. federal authorities have accused him and his cartel of trafficking large amounts of cocaine, heroin, and synthetic drugs into the United States.

In a new 48-page federal indictment, U.S. authorities charge El Chapo and his top lieutenant, Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, with ordering 12 killings and dozens of other acts of violence to promote the Sinaloa Cartel’s criminal activities. The two drug kingpins ordered the killings of Mexican law enforcement agents, members of the military, public officials, and rival drug cartel leaders, the indictment alleges.

The 21-count indictment accuses El Chapo and El Mayo of directing hit men to commit “hundreds of acts of violence, including murders, assaults, kidnappings, assassinations and acts of torture.” Handed down by a federal grand jury in Brooklyn, New York, it was unsealed in late September.

The indictment accuses El Chapo and El Mayo with ordering the 2008 killing of Roberto Velasco Bravo, who was the head of the Mexico’s Organized Crime Investigation Unit. A gunman or gunmen shot him to death in the Tepito neighborhood of Mexico City.

The two drug kingpins also allegedly ordered the 2008 killing of Rafael Ramírez Jaime, who was an official in the State of Mexico’s Attorney General’s office. A gunman or gunmen shot him to death in his home near Mexico City.

El Chapo has been imprisoned since Mexican Marines captured him in his seaside apartment in Mazatlán on February 22.

El Mayo, who remains at large, has replaced El Chapo as the leader of the “largest drug trafficking organization in the world,” according to the indictment. It further alleges that he and El Chapo used their “network of corrupt police and political contacts” to oversee “a large-scale narcotics transportation network involving the use of land, air and sea transportation assets, shipping multi-ton quantities of cocaine from South America, through Central America and Mexico, and finally into the U.S.”.

In addition to ordering the killings of law enforcement officials, El Chapo and El Mayo also directed the assassinations of drug cartel rivals. For example, the two drug kingpins allegedly ordered the 2004 killing of Rodolfo Carrillo Fuentes, who was a leader of the Juárez Cartel. He was known as “The Golden Child.” Gunmen shot The Golden Child to death in in the parking lot of a movie theater in the Sinaloa state capital in of Culiacán in 2004.

Federal authorities in five U.S. states have previously indicted El Chapo for drug trafficking, homicide, and other crimes. In addition to New York, El Chapo is facing federal charges in the states of California, Texas, Florida, New Hampshire, and Illinois. Mexican military and law enforcement officials suspect El Mayo is in hiding in the mountains in the state of Sinaloa, where the cartel’s operations are based.

Mexican drug cartel leader kills himself to avoid arrest


Even as El Chapo faces charges while under arrest, Benjamín Mondragón Pereda, the leader of the Guerrero Unidos Cartel, committed suicide October 14 to avoid being arrested in the city of Juitepec in the state of Morelos.

“When he saw that there was no escape, he shot himself,” said Gonzalo Ponce, a spokesman for the Mexican government.

The Guerrero Unidos Cartel is suspected of transporting large amounts of marijuana and heroin to the U.S. city of Chicago in the state of Illinois.


U.S. donates helicopters to bolster the Honduran Army’s counter-narcotics fight


Meanwhile, thanks to international cooperation, the Honduran Army’s 4th Battalion’s airborne efforts to fight drug trafficking is getting a boost.

The United States recently donated several CH-47F Chinook and UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters to the Honduran Army, aircraft which will enable the Honduran military to reach narco-trafficking hotbeds in remote areas more quickly. The helicopters will transport troops to areas in the departments of Gracias a Dios, Colón and Olancho in a matter of hours. Without the aircraft, it would typically take as many as eight days to transport troops to such areas, by land and sea.

The helicopters will help Honduran troops in multiple ways.

“The fact that (the U.S. military) provides us with logistics and personnel transportation support allows us to have more training time which results in a better performance in the Gracias a Dios region,” said Honduras Army Lt Col. Norman Bustillo, the Joint Chief of Staff's operations director.

“This support is vital for us. It saves us time, minimizes risks and gives us an enhanced operational capacity. We’ve always had a good relationship with the U.S. Armed Forces. They’ve always helped us with training and cooperation and that strengthens our country.”

The helicopters will also help Honduras provide public safety while it builds schools and health care facilities and maintains important infrastructure, such as roads and bridges.


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