Latin America & Caribbean

Guatemalan 'drug boss' Overdick faces US extradition

Alleged Guatemalan drug trafficker Horst Walther Overdick under armed guard in Guatemala City
Image caption Mr Overdick was arrested in April

A Guatemalan court has approved the extradition to the US of Horst Overdick, who prosecutors say is one of the country's top drug traffickers.

Mr Overdick is accused of being a key ally of Mexico's Zetas cartel, which has expanded into Central America in recent years.

A New York court has requested his extradition to face trial on charges of conspiracy to smuggle cocaine.

President Otto Perez Molina must still ratify the extradition ruling.

At the time of Mr Overdick's arrest in April, Interior Minister Maurico Lopez said he had played an important role in helping the Zetas move into the province of Alta Verapaz in northern Guatemala.

Guatemala is an important transit point for South American cocaine smuggled north to the US, with Mexico's powerful drugs cartels increasingly involved.

In 2010 the government declared a state of emergency in Alta Verapaz to combat the rising power of the Zetas.

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