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HomeCentral AmericaGuatemalaHonduran woman, wanted by US for smuggling migrants, caught in Guatemala.

Honduran woman, wanted by US for smuggling migrants, caught in Guatemala.

A Honduran woman wanted for extradition by the United States, accused of leading a migrant smuggling and money laundering network, was arrested Wednesday in eastern Guatemala, Guatemalan authorities said.

María Mendoza, alias Marbella or Patrona, was arrested on a highway in the municipality of Sanarate, some 60 km from Guatemala City, National Civil Police spokesman Edwin Monroy told reporters.

The 50-year-old woman “has an arrest warrant in Honduras for extradition to the United States for the crimes of conspiracy to transport and harbor immigrants for profit and conspiracy to launder money,” said the official.

“She is the alleged leader of a criminal structure (…) linked to money laundering, drug trafficking, and human trafficking activities with operations in the Central American region,” he added.

Guatemalan authorities announced that the detainee was deported to Honduras. The extradition request from the United States was issued by the District Court of the state of Arizona (southwest).

Guatemala and the rest of Central America, in addition to being the origin of migrants seeking irregular entry to the United States, is also a corridor for thousands of citizens of other nationalities who try to enter U.S. territory, many guided by smugglers known as “coyotes”.

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