Guatemala nabs alleged Zetas leader wanted in US

AP News
Posted: May 16, 2014 8:44 PM
Guatemala nabs alleged Zetas leader wanted in US

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — A suspected Zetas leader in Guatemala who is wanted in the United States was arrested following a firefight in the eastern part of the Central American country, a senior official said Friday.

Interior Minister Mauricio Lopez Bonilla said that Jairo Orellana Morales was captured in Zacapa province after a shootout with federal forces that killed a police officer and two others.

Lopez Bonilla said Orellana Morales was arrested Thursday along with seven of his accomplices.

After his arrest, Orellana Morales was flown to Guatemala City where he was shown to the press wearing only pants. His face was bruised.

The U.S. government last year imposed financial sanctions against the 40-year-old alleged drug trafficker under the Kingpin Act, which makes it illegal for U.S. citizens to do business with him and freezes his assets.

The U.S. government described him then as "a violent drug trafficker linked to the Zetas cartel."

Orellana Morales is the son-in-law of Waldemar Lorenzana Lima, a rancher who was accused of drug trafficking and extradited to the United States in March.

The rancher is alleged to have worked with the Sinaloa cartel to smuggle cocaine from Colombia through Guatemala and on to the United States.