Guatemalan court orders extradition of suspected drug kingpin

August 7, 2012

Chicago Tribune on August 6, 2012 released the following:

“Reuters

GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) – A Guatemalan court decided on Monday to extradite a 72-year-old suspected drug trafficker to the United States because of his alleged ties to Mexico’s powerful Sinaloa cartel.

Waldemar Lorenzana, who has said he is innocent, was arrested last year while driving in the town of El Jicaro, 40 miles northeast of Guatemala City.

Authorities accuse Lorenzana of running a large cocaine smuggling racket for the Sinaloa Cartel, pushing drug shipments from Colombia to the United States.

The U.S. Treasury Department has placed Lorenzana and his three sons Eliu, Haroldo and Waldemar, on a list of Central American drug kingpins and a U.S. district court in New York has requested his extradition on drug trafficking charges.

Lorenzana’s youngest son Eliu was arrested last year and in February a Guatemalan court issued an extradition order for the 40-year-old suspected drug trafficker to face similar charges in the United States.

The elder Lorenzana’s other sons are still at large and the U.S. government has offered a $200,000 reward for information leading to their arrests.

Guatemalan President Otto Perez must ratify the extradition order before a date is set to send Lorenzana to the U.S. to face charges.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

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We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and Guatemala here.

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To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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Guatemala to possibly extradite alleged Sinaloa cartel member to the United States (U.S.)

June 13, 2012

Fox News Latino on June 13, 2012 released the following:

“Guatemala to extradite Sinaloa cartel member to U.S.

A Guatemalan court has given the United States 40 working days to present evidence against Walter Alirio Montejo, a Guatemalan suspected of belonging to Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel and the subject of a U.S. extradition request, judicial officials said.

Montejo was arrested Sunday in Huehuetenango, a province on the border with Mexico.

The suspect appeared before a criminal court in Guatemala City on Tuesday and refused to make a statement.

The court has given a U.S. federal court in the District of Columbia time to present evidence to back the extradition request.

The 38-year-old Montejo allegedly belongs to the Sinaloa cartel, Mexico’s oldest and most powerful drug trafficking organization, and is wanted on drug charges in the United States.

An arrest warrant was issued for Montejo by U.S. authorities in 2010, judicial officials said.

Montejo allegedly received drugs in Guatemala from South America that were bound for the United States.

The suspect belonged to the Los Lorenzana gang, which smuggled drugs into Mexico from Huehuetenango, judicial officials said, adding that the narcotics were later smuggled into the United States.

Montejo, according to Guatemalan authorities, was the target of a hit in November 2008 that sparked a shootout between Mexican and Guatemalan drug traffickers that left 17 people dead in a village in Huehuetenango.

Waldemar Lorenzana, the suspected leader of the Los Lorenzana gang, was arrested in April 2011 at the request of the United States, where he is the subject of an extradition case.

Guatemalan authorities have not yet acted on the request for the extradition of Lorenzana, who faces drug charges in the United States.

Elio Lorenzana, Waldemar’s son, was arrested in Guatemala in November 2011 and his extradition was authorized in February.

The Sinaloa cartel is led by Joaquin “El Chapo” (Shorty) Guzman, who was arrested in Guatemala in 1993 and pulled off a Hollywood-style jailbreak when he escaped from the Puente Grande maximum-security prison in the western Mexican state of Jalisco on Jan. 19, 2001.

The Sinaloa organization is sometimes referred to by officials as the Pacific cartel.

Guzman, considered extremely violent, is one of the most-wanted criminals in Mexico and the United States, where the Drug Enforcement Administration has offered a reward of $5 million for him. EFE”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

————————————————————–

We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and Guatemala here.

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

————————————————————–

International criminal defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

Free Skype call:

           Office Locations

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Alleged Guatemala Traffickers Exploit Legal Tool to Fight Extradition

February 7, 2012

InSightCrime.org on February 7, 2012 released the following:

“Written by Steven Dudley

A legal safeguard built into Guatemala’s justice system is being used to stall the extraditions to the United States of some of the country’s most notorious suspected drug traffickers.

The writ of amparo — which is something along the lines of an injunction in the United States, or “accion tutela” in Colombia — provides widespread “relief” or “protection” for the appellate who feels that a statute, law or government action is violating his rights under the country’s constitution.

The amparo is a broad measure that can also be used to reclaim rights as well, such as the right to obtain government-generated documents (equivalent to the Freedom of Information Act in the United States). As such, it is a sacred legal tool.

However, lawyers of some of Guatemala’s most notorious suspected organized crime figures are repeatedly employing the amparo in what appears to be an effort to indefinitely delay the extradition of their clients.

There at least nine high-profile suspects awaiting extradition who have used the measure.

1. Waldemar Lorenzana, alias “The Patriarch,” the long-time head of the Lorenzana clan, a diverse and powerful trafficking group that has been accused of working with both the Sinaloa Cartel and the Zetas.

2. Elio Lorenzana (pictured above), the son of Waldemar, and a suspected trafficker in his father’s organization.

3. Juan Ortiz Lopez, alias “Chamale,” the Guatemalan contact for the Sinaloa Cartel in the San Marcos state along the Mexican border.

4. Mauro Salomon Ramirez, a top lieutenant for the Chamale organization.

5. Alma Lucrecia Hernandez, Salomon’s replacement after his arrest in 2010.

6. Edgar Leonel Estrada, arrested for importing large amounts of pseudoephedrine, the raw material for methamphetamine, for the Mexican criminal organization Familia Michoacana.

7. Victor Emilio Estrada Paredes, who worked closely with his half-brother Edgar.

8. Byron Linares, a long-time drug trafficker who was captured then released in the early 2000s, then recaptured; Linares allegedly has connections in Colombia and sells illegal drugs to the Sinaloa Cartel, among others.

9. Alfonso Portillo, Guatemala’s ex-president who is accused of embezzlement, and has been tied to a group of ex-military intelligence personnel that facilitates drug trafficking, human smuggling, illegal adoptions, and other criminal activities.

The frivolous nature of the amparos has US authorities wringing their hands. In one case, the suspect’s lawyer filed an amparo contending that the words “United States” was not specific enough language to know who the accuser was, and that it could be confused with “the United States of Mexico.”

Others have made references to conflicts of interest within the court system, as this account from elPeriodico illustrates, attempting to sideline judges they deem unfavorable.

The most common amparos challenge the constitutionality of extradition (for example, see pdf version of what Elio Lorenzana’s lawyers filed in 2011, following his capture).

Guatemala allows extradition for cases that have been resolved or in cases in which the suspect is not wanted for a crime in Guatemala. But only Portillo and Linares still faces charges in Guatemala. Once those are settled, their lawyers are likely to file more amparos.

In the case of Portillo, this may be futile. Guatemala’s former president Alvaro Colom, in one of his last big decisions as head of state, authorized the extradition of one of his longtime political rivals just months after the courts, in a shameful ruling, absolved Portillo, and two of his accomplices, of several charges.

The amparo has also been employed against other judicial bodies seeking to prosecute organized crime figures, most notably the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), a United Nations-sponsored project that assists judicial and police authorities in investigating high-profile crimes.

The legal tactics go beyond amparos. On February 1, the day a court was to decide Elio Lorenzana’s fate, his lawyers resigned, leaving him without a defense and leaving the court with little choice but to suspend the hearing.

Traffickers in other countries have employed amparos as well, most notably in Mexico and Venezuela, where high-profile figures have argued extradition violates the constitution and their rights under it.

Amparos in extradition cases are not new, and US Congress has discussed their use in public hearings in the past. They have long been filed if the accused can face longer or more harsh sentences in the United States for their crimes than under their own countries’ laws.

Some of the most significant Guatemalan traffickers, such as Otto Herrera and Mario Paredes, alias “El Gordo,” were captured in other countries, making their extraditions or deportations easier. Both Herrera and Paredes were tried and sentenced in the United States.

However, the Guatemala-based cases can take months or years, and US authorities have no option but to wait.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

————————————————————–

We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and Guatemala here.

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.