News / Americas

    Ex-Guatemalan Drug Kingpin Pleads Guilty to US Charges

    FILE - Suspect Waldemar Lorenzana Lima (L) sits after his arrest in Guatemala City, April 26, 2011.
    FILE - Suspect Waldemar Lorenzana Lima (L) sits after his arrest in Guatemala City, April 26, 2011.
    Reuters

    The patriarch of a Guatemalan family linked by authorities to Mexico's Sinaloa drug cartel pleaded guilty on Monday to conspiring to import more than 450 kilograms (992 pounds) of Colombian cocaine into the United States.

    Waldemar Lorenzana Lima, 75, had his plea entered by U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement.

    The defendant had been arrested in April 2011 by Guatemalan authorities, and extradited to the United States in March.

    The Justice Department accused Lorenzana and three of his sons of conspiring from March 1996 to April 2009 to distribute multiple tons of cocaine within Guatemala and elsewhere, knowing that the drugs would be imported illegally into the United States.

    FILE - Waldemar Lorenzana (C) speaks with members of the media after his arrest at the Supreme Court of Justice in Guatemala City, Sept. 17, 2013.FILE - Waldemar Lorenzana (C) speaks with members of the media after his arrest at the Supreme Court of Justice in Guatemala City, Sept. 17, 2013.
    x
    FILE - Waldemar Lorenzana (C) speaks with members of the media after his arrest at the Supreme Court of Justice in Guatemala City, Sept. 17, 2013.
    FILE - Waldemar Lorenzana (C) speaks with members of the media after his arrest at the Supreme Court of Justice in Guatemala City, Sept. 17, 2013.

    Authorities arrested Lorenzana's son, also named Waldemar, last year and detained another son, Eliu, in 2011. Both face extradition to the United States. Lorenzana's third son, Haroldo, is still at large.

    This conspiracy involved dealings with drug trafficking organizations in Colombia and Mexico to transport cocaine by "go-fast" boats and airplanes to El Salvador and Guatemala, for later distribution in the United States, the Justice Department added.

    U.S.-based lawyers for Lorenzana did not immediately respond on Monday to requests for comment.

    Lorenzana faces a maximum of 40 years in prison, and a mandatory minimum of five years, according to his plea agreement. A sentencing date has yet to be scheduled.

    Joaquin "Shorty" Guzman, once leader of the Sinaloa cartel and Mexico's most wanted man, was captured by Mexican security forces in February.

    The case is U.S. v. Lorenzana Lima, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia, No. 03-cr-00331.

    You May Like

    Video Obama Remembers Fallen Troops for Memorial Day

    President urges Americans this holiday weekend to 'take a moment and offer a silent word of prayer or public word of thanks' to country's veterans

    Upsurge of Migratory Traffic Across Sahara From West to North Africa

    A report by the International Organization for Migration finds more than 60,000 migrants have transited through the Agadez region of Niger between February and April

    UN Blocks Access to Journalist Advocacy Group

    United Nations has rejected bid from nonprofit journalist advocacy group that wanted 'consultative status,' ranking that would have given them greater access to UN meetings

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    More Americas News

    Haiti Braces for Trouble as Election Panel Report Is Due

    Haitians are preparing for trouble as electoral verification commission is due to deliver results of its monthlong review of last year's contested presidential and legislative elections

    Brazil Launches Manhunt for Alleged Gang Rapists

    Police identifies four of 30 suspects who gang raped teenager and posted video online

    'El Chapo' Lawyers Split on Extradition Case

    Lawyers can't agree on staving off extradition to US

    Colombia Rebels Release Three Journalists

    All three, including a Spanish correspondent working on a story about coca growers, were released Friday

    WHO Dismisses Changing Summer Olympics for Zika

    WHO says canceling or postponing the Olympics will not alter the international spread of Zika virus

    Global Growth the 'Urgent Priority', G-7 Leaders Conclude

    A final statement of addressed broad issues facing the global economy while glossing over a difference of opinions among leaders over fiscal stimulus