Suspected Guatemalan drug trafficker extradited to U.S

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 18, 2014 1:34 PM

GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) - Guatemala extradited to the United States on Tuesday a suspected drug trafficker wanted for ties to Mexico's notorious Sinaloa cartel, U.S. officials said.

Waldemar Lorenzana, 74, was arrested in Guatemala in 2011 for trafficking Colombian cocaine to the United States through El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico.

His extradition was approved by Guatemalan courts in 2012 and authorized by President Otto Perez in February.

The U.S. Embassy in Guatemala said Lorenzana was extradited to the United States early Tuesday morning, but did not provide further details on where he will face charges.

Lorenzana belongs to a family with a strong pedigree in drug trafficking that controlled smuggling routes in eastern Guatemala along the border with El Salvador and Honduras.

Authorities arrested Lorenzana's son Waldemar, last year and detained another son, Eliu, in 2011.

Both face extradition to the United States.

Lorenzana's third son Haroldo is still at large and the U.S. Department of Treasury has offered $200,000 for information leading to his arrest.

The United States has prohibited Americans from doing business with the Lorenzana family and identified eight firms they are listed as owning as alleged fronts for their drug ring.

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Joaquin "Shorty" Guzman, formerly Mexico's most wanted man and leader of the Sinaloa cartel, was captured in February with help from U.S. law enforcement agencies. He too faces the possibility the extradition, but is still in Mexico.

(Reporting by Mike McDonald; Editing by Sofina Mirza-Reid)