Guatemala Narco ‘Queen’ Pleads Guilty in US Court

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A top Guatemalan money launderer has pled guilty in a US court to drug trafficking charges and has agreed to provide authorities with information on politicians and businesses with criminal ties, a development sure to make many elites in Guatemala very anxious.

On December 12, Marllory Dadian Chacon Rossel, known as the “Queen of the South,” pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine in the United States in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida, reported elPeriodico.

Chacon — who was captured and sent to the United States in September 2014 — was accused of planning to deliver over five kilos of cocaine to the United States, and of having contacts in Central and Latin American who facilitated her illicit activities.

Initially, Chacon — who the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated as a drug trafficker in January 2012 — pled not guilty to the charges, but she changed her plea once presented with the evidence against her.

According to elPeriodico, she has agreed to provide information, documents, and testimony against other drug traffickers with the hopes of receiving a lesser prison sentence. She faces between 10 years to life in prison. 

InSight Crime Analysis

Chacon’s agreement with US authorities is sure to unnerve many elite interests in Guatemala. Chacon — who the US Treasury Department labeled as “one of the most prolific narcotics traffickers in Central America” and the leader of Guatemala’s largest money laundering network — is known to have associated with many members of Guatemalan high society. Chacon has even admitted that she knows Vice President Roxana Baldetti, although the presidency has vehemently denied it.  

SEE ALSO: Guatemala News and Profiles

While many of Chacon’s known collaborators are already in US custody, her ability to make such high-level connections raises the question as to who else might be in her network of associates.

Indeed, if Chacon hopes to receive leniency from the US courts and a lesser prison sentence, she will likely have to begin selling out her upper-crust Guatemalan friends involved in facilitating her illicit activities. It remains to be seen, however, who she implicates, and what consequences will follow.

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