Guatemala arrests suspected drug trafficker wanted for ties to Mexican cartel

GUATEMALA CITY Tue Sep 17, 2013 7:10pm EDT

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GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) - Guatemalan and U.S. law enforcement agents on Tuesday arrested a suspected Guatemalan drug trafficker wanted for ties to Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel, the gang run by drug lord Joaquin "Shorty" Guzman.

Waldemar Lorenzana was captured by Guatemalan officials working with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in Teculutan, Zacapa, some 130 km (80 miles) northeast of Guatemala City, the attorney general's office said in a statement.

Lorenzana, 48, belongs to a family with a strong pedigree in drug trafficking and the U.S. government had issued a $200,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.

The Guatemalan attorney general's office said Lorenzana was wanted for trafficking cocaine to the United States from Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico.

Guatemalan authorities arrested Lorenzana's brother Eliu, 41, and his 73-year-old father Waldemar in 2011. Last year Guatemalan courts ordered both to be extradited to the United States and Waldemar Lorenzana could face the same fate.

The United States has prohibited Americans from doing business with the Lorenzana family and identified eight firms they are listed as owning as alleged fronts for their drug ring.

Lorenzana's 47-year-old brother Haroldo is still at large and the U.S. Department of Treasury has offered $200,000 for information leading to his arrest.

The Sinaloa Cartel is widely viewed as the most powerful drug trafficking organization in Mexico.

(Reporting by Mike McDonald; editing by Christopher Wilson)

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