Joint Operation by Mexico and Ecuador: In-Law of Mob Boss Guzmán Detained

By Dialogo
March 25, 2011

Nine people linked to the Sinaloa cartel, including an in-law of powerful Mexican mob boss Joaquín ‘Chapo’ Guzmán, were detained in Mexico in a joint operation by Mexican and Ecuadorean authorities, the Secretariat of Public Safety announced on 23 March.

“Víctor Manuel Félix, alias ‘El Señor’ [‘The Lord’], was detained in a joint operation by Mexico and Ecuador,” police anti-drug head Ramón Eduardo Pequeño said at a press conference, adding that the detainee is an “in-law and pal” of ‘Chapo’ Guzmán, the most-wanted mob boss in Mexico and the United States.

“Operation Beehive,” carried out on 18 and 19 March in the Mexican states of Jalisco (in the eastern part of the country) and Quintana Roo (eastern) and the Federal District, also resulted in the detention of four Ecuadoreans, one Colombian, and three other Mexicans, Pequeño added.

Félix was apprehended in the city of Guadalajara, the capital of Jalisco, on 19 March.

The police commander revealed that the detentions were the result of an investigation of Félix for money laundering. During the operation, 500,000 dollars and five hundred kilos of cocaine were seized.

A total of eighteen people were detained in the international operation, carried out in Mexico and Ecuador, the officer added.

In Ecuador, nine people were detained, including Ecuadoreans, Colombians, and Mexicans.

According to the authorities of that country, the gang had established itself in the port of Guayaquil (in southwestern Ecuador) and is believed to be linked to a recently seized shipment of 2.5 tons of cocaine, valued at 137 million dollars.

From that Ecuadorean Pacific port, the organization sent drug shipments to Central America and Mexico for reshipment to the United States.

‘El Señor’ is an alleged leader of a financial network linked to the Pacific cartel, Pequeño said, referring to the cartel headed by ‘Chapo’ Guzmán, also known as the Sinaloa cartel.

Guzmán, ranked by Forbes magazine as one of the world’s richest people, with a fortune estimated at one billion dollars, escaped from prison in 2001 and in a few years rebuilt the Sinaloa cartel, which according to analysts controls the most important drug-shipment routes along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The Sinaloa cartel is one of seven operating in Mexico, according to the government, which launched an offensive in 2006, with 50,000 military personnel, that has taken a toll of 34,600 deaths, the majority of them attributed by the authorities to conflicts between criminal organizations.