BOGOTÁ, Colombia – Colombian police have arrested a suspected drug trafficker whom Spanish officials want extradited, officials said. Germán Gonzalo Sánchez, who is suspected of trafficking at least five tons of cocaine monthly into Spain, was taken into custody the morning of June 5 in the nation’s capital, said Gen. Luis Ramírez, director of the Dijín police agency. “He has links to Spanish drug trafficking organizations that distribute cocaine in that country,” he told EFE. “We are talking about a seizure made in 2007 in Pontevedra, in the north of Spain, and that is where this investigation originated that we have been conducting via Interpol.” More than two years ago, Spanish police confiscated four tons of cocaine and arrested 40 in the city of Pontevedra, but Sánchez, suspected of being the syndicate’s leader fled the scene, Ramírez said. “He is really quite important because he was responsible for sending the cocaine to Spain, and that is why there was an extradition request for him,” Ramírez told EFE. Sánchez is suspected of being the middleman between a gang allegedly led by Daniel Barrera, one of the Andean nation’s most wanted drug traffickers, and Spanish drug cartels, officials said.
José Paulo Vieira de Mello, a suspected drug trafficker, caught in Uruguay
José Paulo Vieira de Mello, one of the most sought-after suspected drug lords in Brazil, has been arrested in Montevideo, Uruguay by Interpol, police officials said on June 6. Vieira de Mello was taken into custody on the outskirts of the nation’s capital on June 5. Vieira de Mello who has been living in Uruguay under the alias “Paulo Seco” for the past two years, also is wanted by Paraguayan authorities, officials told the Uruguay daily El País. Vieira de Mello is suspected of leading a drug syndicate that is aligned with suspected drug kingpin Fernandinho Beira-Mar of the Brazil-based Comando Vermelho (Red Command). The ring is suspected of having operations in Bolivia, Paraguay and Brazil, according to El País.
Mexican officials pull 55 bodies from drug cartel dumping site
Mexican police have lifted 55 bodies from a vacated silver mine they suspect has been used by drug cartels as a place to dump their victims, said Albertico Guinto, attorney general for the state of Guerrero. The bodies – most of which have not been identified – were pulled from a 500-foot deep shaft at the Concha mine in the city of Taxco in western Mexico, according to The Associated Press. Officials have pulled a total of 55 corpses from the mine since May 29 – and still have 10 more shafts to search, officials said. The search for victims began based on a tip they received after taking an organized crime suspect into custody. The tip has led officials to detain at least 15 people in connection with the mass grave. “The smell was intolerable,” Carlos Amezcua, the head of emergency services in the Guerrero state, told Reuters.
Drug traffickers arrested in Colombia
Colombian authorities have arrested 17 in connection with their involvement in a drug trafficking network with a presence in Central America, Mexico and Spain, counter-narcotics officials said. Operation “Golfo II” also led to the seizure of more than three tons of cocaine, equipment to produce narcotics, nine vehicles and two boats, according to the Colombian daily El País.