Mexican Drug Lord Guzman May Be in Honduras, Official Says
MEXICO CITY – Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” (Shorty) Guzman, one of the most-wanted men in Mexico and the United States, may be spending some time “resting” in an area of Honduras called El Paraiso, Honduran Security Minister Oscar Alvarez told Radio Formula.
The preliminary intelligence reports “tell us that possibly El Chapo Guzman has been in Honduras for short periods of time, resting or supposedly taking a break because of the operations being carried out by the government of Mexico” against drug traffickers, Alvarez told reporter Jose Cardenas by telephone on Tuesday.
The reports are based on “preliminary information” provided by informers who said they saw a person fitting Guzman’s description in El Paraiso, which is in Copan province, the Honduran security minister said.
The informers told authorities that Mexican music groups have been in Honduras, performing at a party supposedly attended by Guzman, Alvarez said.
“The name of Los Tigres del Norte has been mentioned, but we have not necessarily been confirming that they served or have performed in the presence of Mr. Guzman,” Alvarez said.
“But, yes, the preliminary information is that this gentleman has been in that area of the country, supposedly taking a break from the forceful actions that the Mexican government is carrying out against drug traffickers,” Alvarez said.
The minister noted, however, that “we are not saying that El Chapo has a permanent presence in our country.”
Estimates are that some 100 tons of cocaine passed through Honduras from South America to the United States in the 2002-2005 period, with the figure now up to 300 tons annually, the security minister said.