Latin America & Caribbean

Guatemala 'drug lord' Juan Ortiz Lopez captured by US

Drug suspect Juan Ortiz Lopez is escorted by police in Guatemala
Image caption Mr Ortiz is facing extradition to the US

Guatemala's most wanted suspected drugs lord, Juan Ortiz Lopez, has been captured by US and Guatemalan agents.

Soldiers and police in helicopters swooped on Mr Ortiz's home in the city of Quetzaltenango.

He is accused of smuggling tonnes of cocaine through Guatemala and Mexico into the US.

The operation is the latest sign of the US's growing involvement in the fight against organised crime in Central America.

"This is the capture of a big fish," Guatemalan interior minister Carlos Menocal told a news conference after Mr Ortiz was flown to Guatemala City and taken to court.

He added that Mr Ortiz would probably be extradited to the US to face trial.

Guatemala is struggling against the growing influence of Mexican drugs cartels in large areas of the country.

Earlier this month US President Barack Obama promised $200m (£125m) in extra funds for the fight against organised crime in Central America during a visit to neighbouring El Salvador.

The UN has also promised more international support for Central America, amid concerns that the region's government's do not have the resources to contain the growing power of the drugs cartels.

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