One of the United States’ most-wanted Mexican drug lords, “El Guero,” was arrested Tuesday at the International Airport of Mexico City.
According to U.S. authorities, there was $5 million award for Luis Rodriguez Olivera, also known as El Guero or simply “Blondie.”
Olivera and his brothers have allegedly smuggled tons of cocaine and methamphetamines into the U.S. through a route in Texas. They allegedly smuggled drugs into Europe, according to The Associated Press. He is also accused of money laundering, possession and distribution of drugs.
Olivera, 39, was indicted in federal court in 2009 for a cocaine-smuggling conspiracy and related charges. He formed a criminal ring called “Los Gueritos” (“The Blondies”) with his brothers Esteban, Daniel and Miguel. They formed allegiances with bigger Mexican cartels like the Sinaloa cartel, the Zetas and the Gulf Cartel, reports AP.
Esteban was arrested in Mexico in 2008 and extradited to the U.S., while Miguel was killed in a shootout in August, according to Mexico’s Ministry of Public Security. Daniel still remains fee.
Los Gueritos smuggled drugs from 1996 to 2005 under the leadership of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, leader of the Sinaloa cartel. El Chapo is Mexico’s most-wanted fugitive.
American authorities reported that Olivera’s gang broke away from the Sinaloa cartel in 2005 and tried to work independently. However, when they were pressured by the Sinaloa and Gulf cartels, the brothers aligned with the Zetas cartel, a rival of the Sinaloa cartel.
It is unclear who Los Gueritos were aligned with at the time of Olivera’s arrest.
Mexican President Felipe Calderon’s administration has been focused on an aggressive military crackdown on drug cartels, according to Reuters. The violent drug wars have claimed nearly 50,000 lives in the past five years, causing Calderon to lose the support of his National Action Party.
Olivera’s arrest is the second high-profile arrest in the war against drug lords in the past two weeks.
Last week, Mexican troops arrested Felipe Cabrera Sarabia, a top lieutenant of the Sinaloa cartel. Sarabia was the alleged top security officer for El Chapo. He has been charged with the falsification of a public document and the possession of arms for use by the army.