Police bust suspected Mexican traffickers
One of four suspects is well-connected lawyer who once ran for office with the PRI
The US government is expected to ask in the coming days for the extradition of four suspected members of powerful Mexican drug organization run by Joaquín El Chapo Guzmán Loera, who were arrested in Madrid on Tuesday.
The men were identified as the El Chapo’s cousin, Jesús Gutiérrez Guzmán; lawyer and ranking official of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), Rafael Humberto Celaya Valenzuela; Samuel Zazueta Valenzuela; and Jesús Gonzalo Palazuelos Soto. Chapo’s cousin was said to be head of the group.
The arrests came after a secret investigation undertaken by Spain’s National Police force and the FBI. The men are said to have been trying to expand El Chapo’s drug trafficking operations in Europe by establishing a network in Spain.
Celaya, who tried to run for a lawmaker’s seat representing Sonora state on the PRI ticket, had traveled to Madrid on several occasions. A photograph of his posted on Facebook shows him alongside Mexico’s President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto.
Police said that the organization was bringing in cocaine in relatively small quantities, including 373 kilos through the port of Algeciras, Cádiz. Police explain that the group was brining the cocaine in lower quantities so as not to lose large amounts if it was confiscated.
The men usually stayed in expensive hotels and held meetings in the apparent style of regular businessmen at Madrid’s luxury Palace Hotel.
Police said that the men did not put up any resistance when they were detained.
The case, which is still secret, is before the High Court.