US Treasury Designates Guatemalan Zetas Ally as ‘Kingpin’

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The US Treasury has named Guatemalan citizen Horst Walther Overdick as a specially designated narcotics trafficker, a new blow against the organization of the recently-arrested Zetas ally.

The designation, made under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act, makes it illegal for US citizens to conduct business with Overdick and freezes any of his assets under US jurisdiction.

The US attorney for the Southern District of New York has already unsealed an indictment against Overdick for drug and arms trafficking. He was arrested April 3 in Guatemala.

InSight Crime Analysis

The fact that Overdick has been indicted and now had his assets frozen by the US, but faces no charges in Guatemala, is another marker of the US’s close involvement in the drug fight in Guatemala. He is likely to be extradited to the US, as Guatemalan law bans the extradition of suspects who have open cases in the country.

Since the Kingpin Act is targeted at stopping US citizens and businesses doing business with the accused, Overdick’s designation suggests that his organization may have economic connections in the US. The freezing of any US assets would be a blow to what remains of his organization.

In recent years, Overdick had served as point man for the Mexican Zetas in Guatemala, although how closely he was working with the Zetas at the time of his arrest is unclear.

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