GUATEMALA CITY – A suspected member of Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel was arrested in this capital, the Guatemalan interior minister said Monday.
Mauricio Lopez told reporters that Enio Geovanny Rey Sosa is thought to be the cartel’s main operative in the northwestern province of Huehuetenango, which borders Mexico.
The 40-year-old Rey Sosa was arrested along with Colombian national Claudia Vanesa Marquez and Nicaraguan citizen Carmen Kijague Lacayo after the latter was shot in the foot in an incident at a Guatemala City hotel.
Rey Sosa has been under investigation for two years, the interior minister said.
The reputed Sinaloa operative was battling another Mexican cartel, Los Zetas, for territory and smuggling routes in Huehuetenango, according to Lopez.
Police confiscated three guns from Rey Sosa and his companions.
Last week, Guatemalan police and soldiers freed 44 peasants who were being held captive by a Zetas cell in Huehuetenango.
The peasants said that armed men – some of them Mexican – held them prisoner for more than three days and threatened to kill them if they refused to collaborate in “illicit activities,” an army spokesman said.
The mass abduction followed weeks of threats and harassment by Los Zetas, the peasants told reporters.
After rescuing the captives, the police-army task force apprehended the reputed head of Zetas operations in the area, Guatemalan national Daniel Juan Nicolas.
More than 100 Zetas have been captured and at least 42 sentenced to prison terms by Guatemalan courts since 2008, when the cartel began operating in the Central American country to control drugs routes running from South America to the United States.
The Zetas, founded by deserters from a U.S.-trained Mexican special forces unit, started out as the armed wing of the Gulf cartel, but the two organizations had a falling out in 2010 and the Zetas went into the drug business on their own account. EFE