Guatemala’s recent extradition of a prominent drug trafficker marks the end of the Lorenzana crime family, once considered one of Guatemala’s top crime families.
Guatemala’s Air Force delivered Elio Alexander Lorenzana Cordon to US authorities on April 30, to face drug trafficking charges in a New York court, local media reported.
Elio Lorenzana is a son of infamous Guatemalan drug trafficker Waldemar Lorenzana Lima, alias “the Patriarch.” According to the US Treasury Department, the Lorenzana family handled the Guatemalan side of cocaine shipments moving from Colombia to Mexico, on behalf of the Sinaloa Cartel. The family is also suspected of having worked with Mexican criminal group the Zetas.
Elio Lorenzana and his father were both captured in 2011. Waldemar was extradited to the United States in March 2014, while Elio’s brother, also called Waldemar, was extradited on drug trafficking charges in November that same year.
Prior to their arrests, the Lorenzana clan reportedly trafficked large quantities of drugs through Guatemala for at least two decades, and received protection thanks to their connections with local political elites and the security forces.
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With Elio’s extradition, US authorities now have the core of the Lorenzana trafficking operation in their custody.
The “Patriarch’s” other children — Haroldo, Ubaldino, and Marta Julia — remain at large, but are being sought by authorities. The loss of their father and his high-level connections to certain elites — as well as the Guatemalan government’s increased pressure on drug traffickers — creates an extremely difficult environment for the remnants of the Lorenzana clan.
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Prospects for the Lorenzanas already in US custody are grim as well. The “Patriarch” has already pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges. Any hope for leniency rests on the prognosis of a pending report which will determine whether he is suffering from Alzheimer’s. Either way, it is likely the 76-year-old will spend the rest of his life in prison. Meanwhile, Elio and Waldemar’s fate will likely be tied to how far they are willing to cooperate with US authorities, something their father is already suspected of doing.