One of the Sinaloa cartel’s highest-ranking woman operatives was arrested in the cartel’s home turf of Culiacan on Tuesday.
Guadalupe Fernández Valencia, 55, also known as “La Patrona,” served as a lieutenant for one of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán’s sons and has been indicted
for money laundering and drug trafficking.
In November, she was designated a “Foreign Narcotics Kingpin” by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC), which said she was “originally from Michoacán, [and] moves both drugs and money for the Sinaloa Cartel.”
Fernández, is “responsible for importing large quantities of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and marijuana from Mexico into the United States,” according to a statement from Mexico’s National Defence Commission, cited by Vice News.
The statement added that she had been arrested in 1998 and imprisoned in California before returning to drug-trafficking.
Fernández is one of the Sinaloa cartel’s top-ranked women, José Carlos Cisneros, an academic who has investigated the role of women in Mexican cartels, told Vice News. She will be held in federal prison in Mexico until authorities there decide how her case will go forward, according to the statement from the National Defence Commission.
Her arrested comes just a month after that of “El Chapo” Guzmán himself, who is also awaiting possible extradition to the US, though he is reportedly already trying to negotiate the terms of his imprisonment in the US.
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