Guatemala Captures Alleged Drug Lord Wanted In US

By Dialogo
November 10, 2011

Guatemala’s Interior Minister announced the arrest of Elio Lorenzana, an alleged drug lord wanted on trafficking charges in the United States.

Lorenzana is the son of Waldemar Lorenzana, 71, known as “El Patriarca” (The Patriarch) and arrested in April on U.S. drug trafficking charges.

The U.S. Treasury Department was offering a U.S. $200,000 bounty for Elio Lorenzana’s arrest.

The Lorenzana family owns 15 businesses in eastern Guatemala, including gasoline stations and companies involved in construction, transportation and fruit exports.

U.S. officials accuse the elder Lorenzana of having links with two notorious. Mexican drug lords, Ismael Zambaba Garcia and Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, both top members of the dangerous Sinaloa Cartel.

Elio Lorenzana was arrested in a raid in the village of Los Llanos, some 130 kilometers east of Guatemala City, Interior Minister Carlos Menocal told reporters.

Elio Lorenzana, “like his father, is accused of the crime of conspiracy to international drug trafficking” and is wanted by a U.S. federal court, said Prosecutor General Claudia Paz.

Lorenzana, however, told reporters that he offered no resistance when he was arrested at home because he is innocent of all charges.

There is a similar U.S. bounty for information leading to the arrest of each of Elio’s two older brothers, Haroldo and Waldemar.

Central America has become a staging ground for illegal narcotics, especially cocaine coming from South America and making its way north to the lucrative U.S. market.

The region has increasingly become tainted by violence as Mexican drug cartels that smuggle the drugs across the U.S. border form alliances with local criminals.