Transparency & accountability

Mexican Federal Police Arrest “El Güero”

Luis Rodriguez Olivera, alias El Guero, was arrested December 27. (Photo Credit: Reuters)

12/28/11— The Public Security Secretariat (Secretaría de Seguridad Pública, SSP) reported that Luis Rodríguez Olivera, alias El Güero, was arrested December 27 in the International Airport of Mexico City (AICM) and entered the Federal Center for Social Rehabilitation shortly thereafter. The U.S. District Court in New York issued an arrest warrant for Rodríguez Olivera on May 22, 2010, and offered a five million dollar reward (U.S.D.) for his capture.

Rodríguez Olivera, 39, is an alleged senior drug dealer of the Sinaloa cartel accused of money laundering and importing, possessing, and distributing cocaine into the United States. According to the SSP, Rodríguez Olivera and his brothers– Esteban, Daniel, and Michael– are suspected of being part of a group called “Los Güeritos,” which has been linked to the trafficking and importation of cocaine into the United States from 1996 to 2008 through a route in Texas. Los Güeritos is allegedly a branch of the Sinaloa cartel, which is led by Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, Mexico’s most wanted criminal. Of the brothers, Daniel is the only one that remains free; Esteban was arrested in 2008 in Mexico for extradition to the United States, while Michael died in a shootout in the state of Yucatán in August 2011.

Despite being linked to the Sinaloa cartel, Rodríguez Olivera’s loyalty is disputed as U.S. authorities believe he and his brothers split from the cartel in 2005, but Mexican authorities believe he was still operating under El Chapo at the time of his capture. U.S. authorities report that Rodríguez Olivera and his brothers broke with El Chapo and tried to work independently until they felt the pressure from surrounding cartels in the area, including both the Sinaloa and Gulf cartels. This resistance pushed their business into Leon, Guanajuato and encouraged them to establish a relationship with the Zetas cartel.

Rodríguez Olivera’s arrest marks the second most important arrest made in the last two weeks as well as a potential major setback to El Chapo and his organization. Last week, Mexican troops arrested Felipe Cabrera Sarabia, a top lieutenant for El Chapo. Cabrera was responsible for the activities of the Sinaloa cartel in Durango and the southern part of Chihuahua. Since his arrest, he has been charged with the falsification of a public document and the possession of arms for use by the army.


Cae “El Güero”, presunto colaborador de “El Chapo.” Milenio. December 28. 2011.

“Mexico arrests drug dealer linked to boss Guzman.” Reuters. December 28. 2011.

“Alleged Mexican drug trafficker snagged.” CNN. December 28,2011.

“Cae presunto miembro de cartel de Sinaloa; EU ofrecia 5 mdd.” El Universal. December 28, 2011.

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