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New reports have revealed that a lieutenant of the Sinaloa Cartel has assumed partial control of the trafficking of migrants from countries like Haiti, Venezuela and Cuba into Mexico and up toward the United States, charging $22,000 per person moved from South and Central America up to the U.S.-Mexico border.

The alleged lieutenant, only known by his initials, has apparently recorded 24 entries and exits from Costa Rica in less than a decade, and has reportedly been incredibly cautious to the point of not even speaking on the phone lest his voice be heard.

“The Mexican applies the same tactic as the Sinaloa Cartel’s leader Zambada. He meets with very few people, and when he has meetings, he chooses the meeting place and holds it in a small room,” an anonymous Costa Rican security force told El Universal. “He operates mainly out of the Costa Rican capital of San José.”

Costa Rica and Panama recently announced a joint dismantling of a gang that smuggled migrants on Sept. 21, detaining 42 men and women between the two countries’ soil in the process, a group apparently led by the aforementioned Mexican and his Nicaraguan collaborator. 

“There is an active participation of the Mexican in Costa Rica, with his main task being to control drug trafficking, but it is a structure that descends from the Sinaloa Cartel that ventures into human trafficking,” continued the source. “They charge $22,000 to those who leave Colombia for Panama to get to Mexico.”

Mexican migrant traffickers have reportedly been found all across Central and South America, with the Sinaloa Cartel having “coyotes” present in Honduras and Guatemala, looking to take advantage of the more than 19,000 migrants waiting in Colombia that are looking to move themselves and their relatives north.

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