Mexico seizes father-in-law of Sinaloa drug cartel chief on eve of Obama visit

 

McClatchy Newspapers

Authorities on Tuesday captured the father-in-law of the powerful chief of the Sinaloa Cartel, chalking up a victory against crime in a week in which President Barack Obama is to travel to Mexico.

Deputy Interior Secretary Eduardo Sanchez said law enforcement officials arrested Ines Coronel Aispuro and four other men in an early morning raid in Agua Prieta, a border city in Sonora state across from Douglas, Ariz.

Coronel is the father of Emma Coronel, a former beauty queen who is the third wife of Sinaloa Cartel chief Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, whom the U.S. Treasury Department describes as the world’s most powerful drug trafficker. The two married in 2007, and she made headlines in September 2011 when she gave birth to twins in a Los Angeles-area hospital, eventually returning to Mexico. U.S. officials at the time said they had no warrant for her arrest.

.News of the arrest comes amid mounting concern in Washington over whether the five-month-old administration of President Enrique Pena Nieto will limit cooperation with the United States in fighting organized crime that expanded dramatically under his predecessor.

Mexico is a major producer of methamphetamine, marijuana and heroin. Most of the cocaine consumed in the United States passes through Mexico from its origin in South America.

A senior Foreign Secretariat official told the Associated Press on Monday that future contact between U.S. agencies and their Mexican counterparts must now go through a single office at the powerful Interior Secretariat, ensuring coordination rather than individual liaison relations between agencies.

Obama, speaking at a news conference Tuesday, dismissed concerns that the move may signal cooling cooperation with Mexico, where he travels on Thursday on a three-day trip that will also take him to Costa Rica.

He said the two nations had made “great strides in the coordination and cooperation between our two governments” but that “things can be improved.” Obama added that Pena Nieto had talked to him last fall about how to improve coordination within his own government.

“I’m not going to yet judge how this will alter the relationship between the United States and Mexico until I’ve heard directly from them to see what exactly are they trying to accomplish,” Obama added.

Sanchez said Tuesday’s arrests were made at a simple one-story ranch home without a shot being fired.

Coronel, he said, ran marijuana-growing operations for the Sinaloa Cartel in Durango and Sonora states.

In a press release in January, Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control put Coronel on its “kingpin’s list,” prohibiting any financial transactions with him and freezing any assets he may have in the United States.

It wasn’t immediately clear if Coronel is also wanted in the United States.

Sanchez said authorities seized 562 pounds of marijuana in the raid as well as several rifles and vehicles. Along with Coronel, authorities also arrested his 25-year-old son, Ines Omar Coronel Aispuro; Juan Elias Ruiz Beltran; Jose Heriberto Beltran, and Bernardo Rios.

Email: tjohnson@mcclatchydc.com; Twitter: @timjohnson4

Read more World Wires stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
In this July 28, 2014, photo, In this July 28, 2014 photo, Ven Kimsorn, 47, drives a tuk-tuk for a living. He lost four siblings under the Khmer Rouge, and hopes the trial of their leaders brings home the lesson that evildoers will face punishment. A U.N.-assisted genocide tribunal will deliver a verdict this coming Thursday in the trial of the two top leaders of the communist Khmer Rouge, whose extremist policies in the late 1970s are blamed for the deaths of an estimated 1.7 million Cambodians though starvation, medical neglect, overwork and execution.

    Justice delayed is pondered in Cambodia

    A U.N.-assisted genocide tribunal will deliver a verdict this coming Thursday in the trial of the two top leaders of the communist Khmer Rouge, whose extremist policies in the late 1970s are blamed for the deaths of an estimated 1.7 million Cambodians though starvation, medical neglect, overwork and execution.

  • Car parts plant blast in China kills 65, hurts 100

    Sixty-five people were killed and dozens seriously burned Saturday by an explosion at an eastern Chinese automotive parts factory that supplies General Motors, state media reported.

  •  
This undated photo shows Israeli Army 2nd. Lt. Hadar Goldin, 23 from Kfar Saba, central Israel. Israeli army spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said Friday, Aug. 1, 2014 that Goldin was apparently captured by Hamas militants who came through a tunnel from the Gaza Strip and another two soldiers were killed. An hour after Friday's cease-fire started, gunmen emerged from one or more Gaza tunnels and opened fire at Israeli soldiers, with at least one of the militants detonating an explosives vest, said Lerner. Goldin was apparently captured during the ensuing mayhem and taken back into Gaza through a tunnel.

    Israel bombards Gaza as it searches for soldier

    Israel bombarded the southern Gaza town of Rafah on Saturday as troops searched for an officer they believe was captured by Hamas in an ambush that shattered a humanitarian cease-fire and set the stage for a major escalation of the 26-day-old war.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category