Colombia Captures Alias Pedro
By Julieta Pelcastre/Diálogo February 26, 2021
In January 5, 2021, the Colombian National Police, through the Directorate of Criminal Investigation and Interpol (DIJIN, in Spanish) and the Colombian Office of the Attorney General, arrested Guatemalan citizen Harol Orlando Saldaña Natareno, alias Pedro, identified as the liaison in Colombia for Central American and Mexican cartels,. Saldaña has an extradition request issued by the United States.
Authorities located him at El Dorado International Airport, in Bogotá, as he attempted to leave Colombia, the Guatemalan newspaper Prensa Libre reported on January 5.
Saldaña was part of a narcotrafficking network that supplied cocaine hydrochloride to Mexican cartels. “Most of the shipments departed Colombia and were transferred to Guatemala and Mexico, from where their entry and distribution into the United States were coordinated,” the Office of the Attorney General reported.
Alias Pedro “is wanted by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California,” Major General Fernando Murillo, head of DIJIN, told the press on January 6.
In addition, alias Pedro “was in charge of boosting narcotrafficking among the criminal groups Oliver Sinisterra and Los Contadores, in the departments of Nariño, Cauca, [and] Valle del Cauca, and areas of the Colombian Pacific [coast],” the police said on January 6.
During the investigation, security forces concluded that Saldaña “had the capacity to ship 3 tons of cocaine per month from Colombia to Central America and the United States,” the police . “He ran a front company involved in fishing activities to make connections with criminal organizations.”
The routes that alias Pedro used most for cocaine trafficking were in the Colombian Pacific coast, and included the use of speedboats and semisubmersibles from collection points in Colombia and Ecuador toward Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Panama, with the United States as the final destination, Maj. Gen. Murillo added.
After Saldaña’s capture, the Office of the Attorney General, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, announced that it had contacted the U.S. Embassy in Colombia to formalize the extradition of alias Pedro within the time frame established by law.