U.S. Requests Extradition of Former Guatemalan Minister over Drug Trafficking Charges

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Mauricio L贸pez Bonilla est谩 siendo procesado por la justicia de su pa铆s. (Twitter)
Former Minister of聽Guatemala, Mauricio L贸pez Bonilla, is being tried by local justice. (Twitter)

Espa帽olGuatemala’s former Minister of Interior has been accused by the United States of protecting incoming shipments from the Mexican drug cartel Los Zetas.

According to the Prosecutor’s Office of both Guatemala and the United States, Mauricio L贸pez Bonilla accepted money from organizations dedicated to drug trafficking, including the Los Zetas cartel, between聽2010 and聽2015.

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The former minister used his “influences and authority” to facilitate drug trafficking聽operations in Guatemala. He reportedly gave them information on police operations and ordered National Civil Police agents to escort shipments of cocaine.

“These acts reduced the activities of the security forces and protected drug traffickers while transporting drugs within and through Guatemala,” a聽report explained, which establishes that he is officially accused of the crime of associating with criminals distributing five kilograms or more of cocaine, and with the聽knowledge that it would be imported into the United States.

The United States has made an extradition request in addition to the transfer of all “articles, instruments, valuables or documents” useful to the investigation that the former minister had in his possession at the time of his arrest.

 

L贸pez Bonilla was arrested in June 2016 following聽several corruption accusations. His extradition request was delivered to the Public Ministry of Guatemala last Friday and received yesterday by聽the country’s Supreme Court.

L贸pez Bonilla served as聽the Governor of Guatemala 鈥斅爐he capital of the country 鈥斅燽etween 2012 and 2015聽during the administration of Otto P茅rez Molina, who is currently in pre-trial detention for several cases of corruption, and Vice President Roxana Baldetti, who has聽also been summoned by the United States for working with Los Zetas.

L贸pez Bonilla received a million dollars for his collaboration and use of his influences, in addition to payments of US $300,000 for preventing drug traffickers from being captured. On another occasion, he was reportedly given US $200,0000 for being an informant to drug traffickers about police activities.

Sources: El Pa铆s, Prensa Libre

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