The US State Department announced Friday that it will offer up to $5 million for each information that will help authorities nab and convict four Mexican drug cartel kingpins, including the brother of notorious smuggler “El Chapo.”
Along with the brother of imprisoned drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, Aureliano Guzmán-Loera, brothers Ruperto Salguero-Navarez, Jose Salguero-Navarez and Heriberto Salguero-Navarez are also wanted by the United States.
State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement that all four have been charged “in US indictments for violations of US drug laws, including international conspiracy to distribute marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine and fentanyl.”
The highly dangerous synthetic opioid fentanyl “is responsible for more than 63% of the 96,779 drug overdose deaths in the United States between March 2020 and 2021,” Price added.
The four operate under the umbrella of the Federation of Sinaloa Cartels, one of Mexico’s most notorious drug trafficking groups, led by “El Chapo” until his imprisonment.
He was extradited to the United States in 2017, where he was sentenced to life imprisonment two years later in a trial held under high security.
The State Department’s statement comes on the same day the Justice Department announced charges of violating international trafficking laws.
For more than a decade, the United States and Mexico have worked together to fight drug trafficking under a program called the Merida Initiative, in which the United States provides military firepower, technical assistance, and security training.
In October, neighboring states agreed to change their approach to address the root cause and step up efforts to stop cross-border arms smuggling.
Mexico is plagued by cartel-related bloodshed, which has killed more than 300,000 people since the government deployed the military in the war on drugs in 2006.