Sinaloa cartel pays to store drugs in Guatemala, says U.S.

Photo of author

By LatAm Reports Editorial Team

Washington claims that Joaquín’s Sinaloa Cartel Guzmán pays taxes on Guatemalans to store narcotics in municipalities bordering Mexico.

A report from the U.S. Government Treasury Department. The U.S. revealed that Joaquín’s Sinaloa Cartel – El Chapo. Guzmán Loera and his children pay taxes on Guatemalans linked to the policy to store drugs in areas bordering Mexico.

These details were revealed after a new drug trafficking sanction by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of that department to the Guatemalan organization “the Pochos,” Washington reported.

According to the U.S. The U.S., the mayor of Ayutla, San Marcos, Isel Aneli Súñiga, daughter of the former leader of that structure, former mayor Erik Súñiga, who died in prison in 2020 in the United States. The U.S. is linked to the Pochos, so she was sanctioned by OFAC along with her husband, Juan José Morales Cifuentes.

OFAC first sanctioned the Pochos in 2019 and the new shares of the Treasury Department reach three of its alleged members and four affiliated companies based in Guatemala.

The measure was taken “becaus of a change in the leadership and participation of its members in Guatemalan local politics,” he says.

The Pochos, “supporting a network of corrupt officials, has continued to facilitate the flow of illicit drugs from Guatemala to Mexico and the United States,” says Brian E. Nelson, undersecretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, cited in the note.

According to Washington, the organization supplies “tons of cocaine” to Sinaloa cartel leaders who transport it to the United States.

“It depends on corrupt officials, including police and military, prosecutors and other Guatemalan authorities,” he adds.

After Erik Suñiga’s death “the Pochos remains active” under the orders of some of his relatives, the Treasury Department reports.

Washington punishes three ringleaders: Juan José Morales Cifuentes, his wife Isel Aneli Súñiga Morfin and Erick Manuel Ochoa Villagrán.

“Mexican traffickers pay taxes to Morales Cifuentes to store his narcotics in the Guatemalan border cities of Tecún Umán and San Marcos,” Washington accuses.

Morales Cifuentes was arrested in December 2023 and is awaiting extradition to the United States.

Isel Aneli Súñiga, daughter of the former leader, is the current mayor of Ayutla and represented Guatemala in the Miss Universe contest in 2017.

“OCEAC has reason to believe that Suñiga Morfin owns businesses and bank accounts that it has used for illicit financial activities in support of Los Pochos, the U.S. government says.

Ochoa Villagrán, arrested in 2013 in Guatemala, accused of murder, is one of Morales Cifuentes’ lieutenants. He is also waiting to be extradited to the United States.

In addition, OFAC designated four companies that are owned or controlled by members of the Pochos. This is Importer Jireh, a car dealership, Build, a hardware store, WIV Sociedad Anónima, an industrial parking lot, and Royal County, a real estate company. All of them are based at the head of San Marcos.

This article has been translated from the original which first appeared in Prensa Libre