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US Arrests Top Guatemalan Drug Investigator

Associated Press, Nov. 16, 2005

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala (AP) -- Police in Virginia have arrested Guatemala's top anti-narcotics investigator and two of his key aides and charged them with conspiring to smuggle drugs into the United States, Guatemalan authorities said Wednesday.

Adan Castillo and two deputy investigators, Jorge Aguilar Garcia and Rubilio Palacios, were arrested Tuesday, Guatemalan Interior Minister Carlos Vielman said during a news conference in Guatemala City, the nation's capital.

They were charged in a three-count indictment issued by a federal grand jury in Washington after a four-month investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Guatemalan government.

"More than corrupting the public trust, these Guatemalan police officials have been Trojan horses for the very addiction and devastation that they were entrusted to prevent," DEA Administrator Karen Tandy said in Washington.

She announced the indictment along with Alice Fisher, an assistant attorney general.

The arrest "is a strong blow to the infiltration of organized crime in the structures of the Guatemalan government," Vielman said.

Castillo was in Virginia for a training course on fighting drug trafficking in ports when U.S. authorities issued a warrant for his arrest, Vielman said.

In a recent interview with The Associated Press, Castillo said he was ready to quit after six months in his post because he was frustrated with a losing battle against drug smugglers.

He said traffickers were aided by corrupt officials at all levels of government.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration estimates that 75 percent of the cocaine that reaches the United States passes through Guatemala, much of it arriving aboard go-fast boats from Colombia.

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