LIMA – Ten Peruvian Drug Enforcement Agency, or Dirandro, agents assigned to the international airport in Lima are being charged by prosecutors for allegedly shipping cocaine to Mexican police officers on the payroll of the powerful Sinaloa drug cartel, the La Republica newspaper reported Sunday.
Three Federal Police officers died in a June 25, 2012, shootout with fellow officers after discovering a package of cocaine that arrived on a flight from Lima at the Mexico City international airport.
“The killers were part of a gang of officers on the payroll of the Sinaloa cartel that worked at the airport in the Mexican federal capital and allowed drugs arriving from Peru to pass through. They knew which flight the cocaine was arriving on because the criminal organization also included Peruvian drug enforcement agents assigned to the international terminal” at the airport in Lima, the newspaper said.
Mexican officials notified the Peruvian government after the incident and the Dirandro launched an operation in August 2012 to identify the agents allegedly working for the Sinaloa cartel.
The cartel’s leader is Joaquin “El Chapo” (Shorty) Guzman, the world’s most-wanted drug trafficker, who has been on the list of U.S. drug kingpins since June 1, 2001.
The Sinaloa organization, sometimes referred to by Mexican officials as the Pacific cartel, is the oldest drug cartel in Mexico and has an extensive drug distribution network in the United States.
Guzman, who was arrested in Guatemala in 1993 and pulled off a Hollywood-style jailbreak when he escaped from the Puente Grande maximum-security prison in the western state of Jalisco on Jan. 19, 2001, is considered the most powerful drug trafficker in the world.
Chapo Guzman tops the list of Mexico’s most-wanted criminals and is on the Forbes list of the world’s richest people.
The Sinaloa cartel, according to intelligence agencies, is a transnational business empire that operates in the United States, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, the Americas and Asia.