“Ivan” for Borderland Beat
The criminal structure led by Aureliano Guzmán Loera, known as “El Guano,” is in check. The hunt, the product of intelligence work led by the Mexican Defense Secretariat and the Mexican Navy, reportedly closed in on the drug trafficker nine days ago between the towns of El Durazno and Santa Gertrudis, in Durango, but without managing to capture him.
According to U.S. sources, the hunt is real and identifies the entire organization of this criminal organization, which is made up of his lieutenants, and whom the DEA not only identifies with names and nicknames, but also the towns where they operate: Bastantitas, Santa Gertrudis and San José del Llano, mainly.
But more than his lieutenants, the main target of both governments continues to be El Guano, for whom the United States is offering 5 million dollars for information leading to his capture, after identifying him as one of the main producers and traffickers of synthetic drugs, including heroin and fentanyl.
According to an investigative inquiry with the U.S. Department of Justice (USDOJ), none of Aureliano Guzmán Loera’s sons, nor his brothers, are part of the manhunt; none of them appear to be facing drug trafficking charges.
Mike Vigil, a former undercover DEA agent in Mexico, clarified that this does not mean that none of them are being investigated, but that it is likely that all of them have their phones tapped and any calls they make are recorded, and the moment relevant information is captured that serves as evidence that they are trafficking drugs, they are charged.
“There are also informants within the cartel who pass on reports to the Mexican and U.S. governments, or present documents, photos, and recorded calls through wiretaps, or even drug buyers who do business with them but who are actually undercover agents, who point them out, and that is how they gather all the evidence to charge them,” said Vigil.
In Mexico, according to sources from the Attorney General’s Office (FGR), El Guano is not facing charges, so everything indicates that his arrest, if it ever happens, would be for his prompt extradition to the United States, where he faces drug trafficking charges.
According to file 18-cr-01840, filed in a federal court in the District of Arizona, El Guano has been producing and trafficking heroin and fentanyl for years along with Ruperto Salgueiro Nevarez, and other individuals identified by the nicknames Cachorro, La Güera, Ochoa, and El Compa.
The document, full of crossings out places and names, states that El Guano has been conspiring for years to traffic synthetic drugs to Arizona, in the United States, which is why it requests his prompt arrest so he can be tried in a federal court in that country.
Guzmán Loera along with Iván Archivaldo and Jesús Alfredo Guzmán Salazar, in addition to Joaquín Guzmán López, would have inherited the faction left by Joaquín el Chapo Guzmán, when he was extradited to the United States in January 2017.
Since then all of them would have grown the criminal enterprise to become the most powerful criminal group of the Sinaloa Cartel, beyond what Chapo could grow it, until last January 5, they suffered a strong blow when they arrested Ovidio Guzman Lopez, the Mouse, in the town of Jesus Maria, and where the army confiscated them almost 60 armored and artillery vans, and killed several dozen gunmen.
The United States wants all of them, and is offering a 5 million dollar reward for information leading to their capture: Joaquín Guzmán López, el Güero or Moreno, is wanted by the District of Columbia, while Jesús Alfredo Guzmán Salazar is wanted in a federal court in the Northern District of Illinois.
Iván Archivaldo, the eldest of the brothers, is wanted in a federal court in the Southern District of California, the same court that freed Serafín Zambada Ortíz and Dámaso López Serrano, the Minilic.
Article published on March 5, 2023 in the 1049th edition of the weekly Ríodoce.
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