Alex Papadovassilakis writes in InSight Crime about the nexus of family, politics and criminal activity that occurs in some of Guatemala’s more isolated regions. This, against a backdrop of the criminalisation of human rights defenders and the facilitation of top-level corruption through widespread impunity.
An anti-narcotics operation in western Guatemala has shed more light on how families involved in local politics can play a pivotal role in the regional cocaine trade.
The Attorney General’s Office raided a series of properties and a government building in late July in the municipality of Esquipulas Palo Gordo, in the department of San Marcos, where they suspect the town’s mayor and his family of being involved in the drug trade.
Investigators identified mayor Exadillas Dionel Ramos Aguilar as a possible member of an alleged drug ring that moved small batches of cocaine from western Guatemala into Mexico, using a network of companies and goods to conceal their profits, according to a statement and details of the investigation provided to InSight Crime by Alan Ajiatas, sub-director of the Attorney General’s Office anti-narcotics unit.
The mayor’s wife, Lucinda Esperanza Aguilar Pérez, is also alleged to be the group’s main money launderer, managing a network of companies used to simulate profits and acquire assets in the town and elsewhere.
You can read the full piece, with links, here, A Blend of Family and Politics in Guatemala’s Cocaine Trade.