The chief of Guatemala's
anti-drug police, his deputy, and another senior official were indicted
by a federal grand jury in Washington, DC, Wednesday on cocaine distribution
conspiracy charges. Head narc Adan Castillo, his assistant Jorge
Aguilar Garcia, and police official Rubilio Orlando Palacios were arrested
Tuesday after arriving in the United States.
DEA head Karen Tandy personally
announced the bust at a Washington press conference. "More than corrupting
the public trust, these Guatemalan police officials have been Trojan horses
for the very addiction and devastation that they were entrusted to prevent,"
Guatemala has been a major
conduit for Colombian cocaine headed for the United States for years.
The US dropped Guatemala from its list of anti-drug allies during the presidency
of Alfonso Portillo because of his government's lack of cooperation.
His successor, President Oscar Berger, who took office nearly two years
ago, promised to do better, but has had little success.
Just last week, Castillo
told the Associated Press he planned to resign next month, saying he felt
like he was fighting a losing battle. Guatemala has as many as 4,000
drug smugglers who take advantage of the latest technologies, he said.
"They have speedboats with up to four motors, modern technology, the most
modern communication systems and contacts all over the American Isthmus,"
he said. "It's easy for them." The traffickers pay well for
"information sources that are absolutely excellent," he said. "So
they realize how the state is working. They monitor the state and
the authorities and then do analysis on how to handle the drugs," Castillo
"There are moments when you
start to think you're swimming against the current," he said. "At
those times, it's easy to think, 'If there aren't other institutions that
can support me, if the government itself is weak in its responses, there's
nothing left to do but leave it in God's hands.'"
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