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Originally published Saturday, March 31, 2012 at 7:17 PM

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Nicaraguan businessman accused of drug trafficking

Nicaraguan authorities said Saturday that the apparent target of an attack that claimed the life of Argentine folk singer Facundo Cabral last year is being charged with drug trafficking.

The Associated Press

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MANAGUA, Nicaragua —

Nicaraguan authorities said Saturday that the apparent target of an attack that claimed the life of Argentine folk singer Facundo Cabral last year is being charged with drug trafficking.

Businessman Henry Farinas and six others are accused of trafficking, money laundering and ties to organized crime, said police spokesman Fernando Borge.

Farinas was believed to be the intended target of last year's ambush in Guatemala that killed Cabral. The businessmen was driving the folk singer to the airport when their car was ambushed by gunmen. Farinas survived.

Borge said the accusations against Farinas were presented to a judge by a special prosecutor from the anti-corruption unit. Among the six others accused is Farinas' brother, Joaquin Farinas Fonseca, and a man identified as American Gerald James Shackelford.

Three of the suspects - the Farinas brothers and a nightclub manager - are in detention while the others are still being sought, Borge said. Henry Farines was detained on Thursday.

There was no immediate comment from the accused.

Farinas allegedly worked for a Mexico-linked group of traffickers knows as "Los Charros," which was recently broken up in Nicaragua and Costa Rica, according to the police investigation. He also allegedly collaborated with a Colombian drug gang called "Los Fresas."

Police accuse Farinas of shipping drugs from Costa Rica to Nicaragua for Los Charros. He may have kept some of the drugs or drug money, leading to the attack.

Nicaragua's Attorney General's Office said that various properties owned by Farinas were raided by agents and several vehicles seized.

In mid-March, a Costa Rican man who authorities say may have links to Mexico's powerful Sinaloa drug cartel was arrested in Colombia for the fatal ambush that left Cabral dead and Farinas wounded. Fernando Alejandro Jimenez Gonzalez was extradited to Guatemala and declared his innocence.

Jimenez, 38, is also wanted in Costa Rica on suspicion of money laundering and drug trafficking.

Colombian police said that according to information gathered by Costa Rican security agencies, Jimenez could be a link between the cartel headed by drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman and suspected Colombian traffickers.

Cabral, 74, was shot to death July 9 after giving a concert in Quetzaltenango, a Guatemalan city 200 kilometers (120 miles) west of the capital, Guatemala City.

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