Colombia Takes Down Microtrafficking Network in Main Coffee Region

By Dialogo
September 17, 2013

In a coordinated effort with the Attorney General’s Office, the Colombian National Police disrupted a criminal network that controlled a large part of the microtrafficking and extortion operations in the main coffee growing region.

Investigations led to the location where 18 members of the criminal gang were later captured, as well as to the revelation that five other men participated by conducting criminal actions from different penitentiaries.

The detainees were members of La Cordillera criminal gang, consisting of former members of the demobilized United Self Defense Forces of Colombia’s Bolivar Central Block, led by Carlos Mario Jiménez, aka ‘Macaco’, who was extradited to the United States in 2008.

Currently this criminal organization is fighting a turf war against Los Urabeños and Los Rastrojos for the control of drug trade routes, especially in Pereira, Virginia, La Celia and Apía municipalities in Risaralda department; Cartago, El Águila, Villanueva, and Restrepo in El Valle, as well as Belalcazar in Caldas department.

The arrestees are allegedly responsible for using long and short-range weapons in executing selective murders, small-scale drug trade, and extortion in the coffee-growing region.

Investigations also revealed that the criminal structure was part of a drug distribution network in Bogotá, following an agreement with Rigoberto Arias Castrillón, aka ‘Rigo,’ top leader of the Bronx Mafias, who was captured in Venezuela in April, during a coordinated effort conducted with the authorities of the neighboring country.