Guatemalan national Adolfo Eribel Rodriguez Barrientos, the alleged successor of the Paredes organization, a principal drug trafficking ring in Guatemala, has reportedly been nabbed by D.E.A. agents in Belize. Rodriguez is wanted in the United States for his role in the ongoing operation which he took over from Jorge Mario Paredes Cordoba, who was arrested and extradited to the U.S. in 2008. In the wake of Rodriguez’s capture, a series of raids were carried out at his properties by Guatemalan authorities. While the high profile arrest shows that the organization continues to exist even with the loss of its leaders, it also highlights Belize’s part in transnational crimes. Evidence suggests that narco-traffickers in the region are well aware of Belize’s institutional flaws which are being exploited in their favor. The Paredes organization is believed to have had close ties with the Zetas in Mexico, to whom they shipped tons of cocaine en route to the United States. The report of Rodriguez’s arrest was made in Guatemala where the minister of the interior said that Rodriguez was wanted by the U.S. When we checked today with local police, they told News Five that police did not participate in his apprehension.

Channel 5