Colombia Captures Drug Kingpin to Be Extradited to U.S.
By Dialogo August 10, 2012
On Aug. 8, near Medellín, Colombian authorities captured Erikson Vargas, alias Sebastián, considered one of the most important drug trafficking headmen in Colombia, head of drug organization Office of Envigado, which is known to maintain an alliance with the Mexican Los Zetas cartel and whose extradition to the United States is in process.
Sebastian “is one of the most important criminals in recent years in Colombia,” assured Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzón at a press conference at the antinarcotics base in Bogotá, where the alleged drug trafficker arrived around noon from Medellín (400 kilometers northwest of the Colombian capital).
Vargas directed the organization of drug traffickers and assassins that originated at the time of former Medellín cartel leader Pablo Escobar.
Arrest warrants were issued for criminal conspiracy of aggravated murder, forced displacement, extortion and drug trafficking. The alleged drug trafficking kingpin had notably changed his physical appearance, indicated the police in a statement.
The Office of Envigado has been “one of the organizations that have committed the most murders in the past decade,” said Pinzón.
After his capture, President Juan Manuel Santos assured that he will be extradited to the United States, as has been done with other drug trafficking kingpins.
“He has an order for extradition and we will extradite him” he said in a press conference. Pinzón stated Vargas’s arrest constitutes “a lethal blow” against the organization, adding that in past months they struck the mid-level members and “with this arrest, we cut the head off.”
Vargas was detained in an estate near Medellín in an operation in which one of his associates resisted authorities and was killed, while others were detained, police said.
Eight firearms, among them a grenade launcher, were seized at that location, Pinzón detailed.
The Office of Envigado is an organization of drug traffickers and assassins that started operating in 1980 in Medellín at the command of Pablo Escobar. After the death of the lord, command went to Diego Fernando Murillo, alias Don Berna, a member of the paramilitary group United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC, extreme right).