Mexico has extradited a prominent Sinaloa cartel boss to the U.S., part of an investigation involving officials in Honduras suspected of having links to organized crime.
Mexico’s Attorney General’s office, the PGR, announced Nov. 15 they would be extraditing Cesar Gestalum Serrano, who went by “La Señora”, along with Pedro Alejandro Rubio Perez to the U.S.
Serrano had previously been running his criminal operations in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, and was arrested in the city of Cancun, a famous hot-spot for North American tourism.
Prior to being caught, Serrano may have been the most active drug trafficker in Central America. The US treasury added him to its list of drug “kingpins” in December 2014.
An official spokesperson called him one of the most prolific cocaine suppliers in Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel. Perez is associated with the same cartel, and was arrested in 2013 for drug trafficking offenses.
Serrano is a massively well-known figure in the Honduras underworld, though the full extent of his criminal influence is unknown. His extradition could spark a panic among certain Honduran elites who are suspected of having ties to organized crime in South America.
Several businessmen in the Rosenthal family, one of the most wealthy and influential in the entire country, were indicted earlier this year on charges of money laundering and corruption. They are suspected of having a link to the Cachiros gang, which has been known to transport narcotics throughout South America.
The leader of this gang, Javier Maradiaga, alias Javier Cachiro, turned himself in at the U.S. embassy in Honduras in January. It is believed that Maradiaga and other high-ranking gang members are cooperating in similar investigations.
It is still unclear whether Serrano has any connection to the Cachiros, although he is known to have been involved with the Valle Valles, who enjoyed years of leniency from the Honduran authorities, despite their widely publicized trafficking and violence.
Despite his notoriety, Serrano and his organization are a drop in a vast ocean of drug peddlers, murderers, and public servants. Since February 2010, the main cartels in Mexico have been divided into two factions; with the Juárez Cartel, Tijuana Cartel and Los Zetas on one side, and the Gulf Cartel and Sinaloa cartel on the other.
While territorial violence isn’t as bad as it has been, the gangs continue to fight for the best smuggling routes into U.S. cities, where they act as wholesalers for cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin among other drugs.
Chicago’s Little Village is thought to be a focal point for the Sinaloa cartel, where they have been estimated to sell up to two metric tonnes of narcotics a month.
[Insightcrime.org] [Fox News] [CBC] [Photo courtesy ABC-7]