The US Just Put a $10 Million Bounty on a Unknown Cartel Leader


L: Eugenio Darío Molina-López “Molina”, head of Los Huistas, courtesy of the U.S State Department. R: An agent of the Honduran anti-drugs police takes half within the incineration of seized cocaine on February 15, 2021. Central American international locations are main cocaine corridors for cocaine headed north to the U.S. Photo by ORLANDO SIERRA/AFP by way of Getty Images.

The Biden administration simply positioned a $10 million reward on the pinnacle of the chief of a little-known cartel in Guatemala. The prize for Eugenio Darío Molina-López “Molina”, head of Los Huistas, is twice that supplied for assist resulting in the seize of Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman’s sons, generally known as Los Chapitos, which was set to $5 million for every in December 2021. 

Molina’s Huistas cartel simply bought flagged as one of many important prison companions offering medication to Mexico’s two greatest prison organizations: the Sinaloa Cartel and the New Generation Jalisco Cartel (or CJNG by its Spanish acronym).

Several different members of Los Huistas have been additionally sanctioned by three separate U.S. departments (State, Justice and Treasury) for “threatening the people and security of the United States and Guatemala,” by working with the Mexican drug-trafficking teams in Mexico.

The transfer displays how each Mexican cartels have been engaged on strengthening their Central American operations—a key strategic area for the cultivation and transportation of medication to the U.S. and Europe— in addition to the significance of their prison associates on this area.  

“Los Huistas drug-trafficking organization smuggles deadly narcotics, including cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin, from Guatemala through Mexico for distribution in multiple cities in the United States,” stated Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Brian E. Nelson in a press launch

“Los Huistas DTO [drug-trafficking organization] controls poppy cultivation fields in the mountainous region spanning the Guatemalan departments of Huehuetenango and San Marcos and has imported precursor chemicals from China to manufacture methamphetamine,” in keeping with the U.S. Treasury Department.

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Two different outstanding members of Los Huistas, Aler Baldomero Samayoa-Recinos, alias “Chicharra” and his son-in-law Freddy Arnoldo Salazar Flores, have been sanctioned individually “for the trafficking of multi-ton quantities of cocaine from South and Central America into Mexico, ultimately destined for the United States.” Flores is at the moment a congressman within the Central American Parliament, a regional political establishment. 

For at the very least 10 years, Los Huistas have constructed a robust community of political affect to assist the group thrive. 

In early 2021, Henry Hernández, brother of Guatemalan Congress vp, Sofía Jeanetth Hernández, was arrested on expenses of money-laundering for Los Huistas, in keeping with the Attorney General’s Office. He was killed final January throughout a gunfight in a soccer sport in Guatemala. Another brother, Filomeno Hernández, was accused of cash laundering for Los Huistas by a information investigation in 2021. Both Filomeno and Henry laundered thousands and thousands for Los Huistas by working a number of companies across the nation, in keeping with El Periodico, a Guatemalan nationwide newspaper.  

Sofía Hernández has denied information of any prison involvement of her brothers. 

Corruption inside Guatemala’s political elites has lengthy aided the expansion of prison organizations. A high anti-corruption Guatemalan decide resigned her cost on Monday and fled to the U.S. for her personal security. Judge Erika Aifán was thought-about a key component in preventing corruption in Guatemala and introduced her resignation on Twitter.   

“They left me no option. I don’t have any guarantees to my life and integrity,” Aifán stated in a brief video. “Several political and criminal networks were affected by our advance towards justice.”

Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel and CJNG have been preventing for management of drug manufacturing and transportation in Guatemala for years, in keeping with a 2020 report by Colombia’s International Investigation Center in opposition to Maritime Drug-trafficking. 

As the U.S. continues to crack down prison organizations in Central America by way of sanctions and rewards for info resulting in high targets, the presence of those prison organizations all through the area is likely one of the greatest threats to public safety. 

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