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US offers reward for tips to help capture Mexican drug kingpins

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WASHINGTON: The US State Department announced late on Friday it would offer up to $5 million each for information that would help authorities capture and convict four Mexican drug cartel kingpins, including the brother of infamous trafficker “El Chapo.”

Along with the brother of jailed drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, Aureliano Guzman-Loera, brothers Ruperto Salgueiro-Nevarez, Jose Salgueiro-Nevarez and Heriberto Salgueiro-Nevarez are also wanted by the United States.

The four have been “charged in US indictments for violation of US drug laws, to include international conspiracies to distribute marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, and fentanyl,” State Department Ned Price said in a statement.

The highly dangerous synthetic opioid fentanyl is “responsible for more than 63 percent of the 96,779 drug overdose deaths in the United States between March 2020 and 2021,” Price added.

The four operate under the umbrella of the federation of the Sinaloa Cartel, one of Mexico’s most notorious drug trafficking groups, which “El Chapo” led until his imprisonment.

He was extradited in 2017 to the US where he was sentenced to life in prison two years later in a trial held under high security.

The State Department statement comes the same day as a Justice Department announcement of indictments charging the four with violating international trafficking laws.

For over a decade, the US and Mexico have worked together to fight drug trafficking under a program called the Merida Initiative, with the US providing military firepower, technical support and security training.


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