Guatemala Seizes Second Heroin Shipment in a Week

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Guatemalan airport authorities seized their second large shipment of heroin in a week, giving further evidence that Guatemala may be becoming a favored midway point for international heroin shipments headed to the United States.

On August 27, Guatemalan narcotics police discovered 120 kilograms of heroin at La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City. 110 kilograms of the drug originated in Mexico, reported El Periodico, while an additional 10 kilograms of the substance came from France.

These seizures follow the August 23 seizure of over 100 kilograms of heroin at the same airport.

Authorities say most recent seizure was bound for the same recipient as the August 23 incident, a shell company located in the Guatemalan town of San Jose Pinula, outside of Guatemala City. Police are also investigating two honey farms in Peru which have also shipped material to the San Jose Pinula address.

InSight Crime Analysis

Guatemala has long been an important transit point for cocaine moving north to the United States, and the country is the second-largest producer of poppy in the region after Mexico.

However, its emergence as a hub for heroin trafficking is a new development. While the limited air traffic into the country would seem to make it a less than ideal place to move large quantities of narcotics via commercial and cargo planes, Guatemalan authorities have proven highyly susceptible to corruption. This creates a direct incentive for all types of illicit traffickers to use the country as a base of operations.

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