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Top Sinaloa cartel member in Guatemala arrested in raid

Policía Nacional Civil de Guatemala

 (Policía Nacional Civil de Guatemala)

Guatemalan authorities have captured Efraín Cifuentes González, also known as "El Negro Sosa," considered one of the most important members of the Sinaloa cartel operating in Guatemala.

Guatemalan Interior Minister Mauricio López Bonilla told The Associated Press that the alleged drug trafficker was arrested on Thursday evening in the village of Las Cruces, in the northern department of Petén.

“A formal operation was launched Thursday night to move into position and start the raid. [He] was hiding in a house surrounded by a swamp; he tried to flee, there was crossfire, no injuries, and he was finally captured,” López Bonilla said.

According to information from intelligence officials, who asked not to be identified by name because they were not authorized to speak on record, Cifuentes is linked to the Sinaloa cartel and controls the movement of drugs through Guatemala into Mexico.

After being trained for two years in Mexico, Cifuentes was allegedly entrusted to develop a route in which cocaine and other illegal substances could be sent through Guatemala to Sinaloa cartel members working for Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzmán.

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Guzmán, once considered the wealthiest drug lord in the world, was the head of the Sinaloa cartel before he was arrested in February after 13 years as a fugitive since escaping from prison. He is currently being held in a high security Mexican prison as he awaits trial and possible extradition to the United States.

The arrest operation against Cifuentes was conducted by the National Civil Police and prosecutors. The Public Ministry reported that there had been an arrest warrant out for Cifuentes since July on charges of trafficking and illegally storing drugs.

He was airlifted from Petén to Guatemala City, where he is being held before having his case heard by a local judge.

Based on reporting by The Associated Press.

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