SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador — Authorities in El Salvador say they have arrested a businessman accused of being a leader of an international drug cartel and raided a series of businesses and a law office.
Jose Adan Salazar Umana, alias “Chepe Diablo,” was designated as an international drug kingpin by the United States in 2014. Local media reports say Salazar Umana was a leader of the Texis cartel in El Salvador and has been linked to money laundering through his businesses.
Salvadoran Attorney General Douglas Melendez said about 50 prosecutors are searching some 26 companies, including hotels, gas stations and residences.
“At the moment, I can only confirm the arrest of Mr. Jose Adan Salazar and three others, but I cannot say their names,” he said.
When asked if it was an investigation into the Texis cartel, Melendez replied: “That is the name that has been given publicly. We are going after a money laundering structure but it is the same people.”
Much of the cocaine reaching the United States from South America passes through Central America, giving rise to powerful organized crime groups.