Thursday, October 9, 2014

A Zeta Network in Guatemala with Links to Honduras

Honduran security forces arrested Héctor Emilio Fernández Rosa, wanted for extradition to the United States on drug charges.  Fernández Rosa, a Honduran born in La Entrada, Copan, has been linked to the Zetas by the DEA.  He is alleged to operate as a transportista along the Honduran Guatemalan border, moving drugs from Playitas, Florida, Copan to the Peten in Guatemala.  Members of the Tropa de Inteligencia y Grupos de Respuesta Especial (TIGRES), along with the DEA, suprised Fernández Rosa in his home in El Hatillo, north of Tegucigalpa.

According to the Prensa Libre of Guatemala in 2012, Fernández Rosa was linked to various actors in the Zeta network in Guatemala, including Otto Herrera (extradited to the US), Jorge Paredes (captured in Honduras in 2008 and wanted in the US), Waldemar Lorenzana (patriarch of the Lorenzana crime family in Guatemala in charge of moving the Zeta's drugs from Honduras into Mexico), Elio Lorenzana (being extradited to US from Guatemala), Brian Linares (a member of Otto Herrera's group), and Mario Ponce (captured in Honduras and extradited to the US).

This is a lucrative business.  The DEA was able to reconstruct over 552 financial transactions, over $10 million, between 2007 and 2010 for Mario Ponce alone.

Because of all of the above captures, the Guatemalan side of the business has been in a constant state of flux, reorganizing as each person was captured.  Investigations last year in Guatemala determined that Jorge Ponce Rodriguez, brother of Mario Ponce, is currently in charge of this crime family and has recruited six others.  Hector Emilio Fernández Rosa is his Honduran contact moving drugs through blind border crossings between the Department of Cortes in Honduras, and the Department of Izabal in Guatemala, and from there into the Peten in Guatemala.

Jorge Ponce Rodriguez in turn, is working with Horst Walter Overdick Mejia around Lake Peten Itza  and Coban, Verapaz, to move the drugs closer to Mexico.  Overdick Mejia has been receiving weapons and training from the Zetas since 2008.  Ponce uses aircraft to move drugs within Guatemala, and has several pilots known to be working for him.  It appears that at least some part of his organization also moves drugs into Spain, where he owns several companies.

Its worth pointing out that Jorge Ponce Rodriguez is credited with being the drug cartel running the territory adjacent to José Manuel Lopez Morales discussed in a previous post.  Together these two control the entire Guatemalan side of the Honduran-Guatemalan border region, a region with at least 45 known blind crossings.

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