‘Hector Largo,’ the Pink Cocaine Czar, captured by Colombian National Police
By Dialogo May 02, 2014
Colombian security forces have captured that country’s alleged “czar” of the production and distribution of the synthetic designer drug known as “pink cocaine.”
Colombian National Police captured Hector Alonso Castro Franco, 38, on March 24 in the city of Pereira, authorities said. Police captured him at a shopping mall. He is also known as “Hector Largo,” a leading figure in the criminal groups Los Machos and Los Urabeños.
Before his capture, Hector Largo was the biggest distributor of synthetic drugs in Colombia, according to investigators with the Colombian National Police Directorate of Criminal Investigation and Interpol.
Hector Largo was also allegedly the principal producer of the party drug “2C-B,” which is also known as "pink cocaine."
The dangers of ‘pink cocaine’
Pink cocaine, which is also known as “Venus” and “Nexus,” is a hallucinogenic designer drug first manufactured in Europe. Users can ingest it in powder or pill form. The effects of pink cocaine have been described by users as a cross between ecstasy and LSD.
Pink cocaine has become the drug of choice among affluent users in Colombia’s urban area, supplanting ordinary cocaine, authorities said. Pink cocaine has gained popularity despite the fact it costs up to $75 (USD) per dose, compared to $5 (USD) for a gram of ordinary cocaine.
Synthetic drugs are attractive to organized crime groups because they are easier to manufacture and transport than regular cocaine, and command much higher prices.
Hector Largo allegedly ran distribution networks for synthetic drugs in Bogota, Medellin, Cartagena, and Barranquilla, according to authorities. He was allegedly setting up a distribution network for the drugs in Pereira when National Police agents captured him, according to published reports.
Hector Largo suspected of killings.
Authorities suspect Hector Largo not only produced and distributed pink cocaine, but that he also participated in multiple homicides in Valle de Cauca, where the synthetic drug manufacturing operation was based, according to press reports.
Hector Largo is affiliated with the Machos, a Colombian gang, and Los Urabenos, an international drug trafficking organization.
The Machos were once the once the armed wing of the Norte del Valle cartel, but have since been absorbed by Los Urabenos.
The synthetic drug distribution network directed by Hector Largo had previously been led by Hector Mario Urindola, who is also known as “Chicho.” He was the leader of the Machos in the Valle de Cauca.
From Chicho to Hector Largo
Hector Largo took over the distribution network after Colombian National Police agents captured Chicho in January, 2013. Chicho allegedly ran a series of clandestine drug labs in the Valle de Cacua to manufacture pink cocaine. He also set up distribution networks in each of Colombia’s major cities.
Hector Largo allegedly took over the pink cocaine production and distribution network after security forces captured Chico.
Hector Largo had been trying to capitalize on the increased demand for synthetic drugs in Colombia’s urban areas. The surge in demand is reflected by the amount of synthetic drug seizures police made in 2013.
Colombian police seized almost 185,000 doses of synthetic drugs in 2013 – more than double the number of doses seized in 2012.
Sales of pink cocaine are on the rise because the drug is cheaper to produce, said Yadira Gálvez, a security analyst at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).
“Synthetic drugs are easier and cheaper to produce,” Gálvez said. “Pink cocaine has a strong place in the illicit drug market.”
Success for the Colombian National Police
Colombian security forces are working hard to combat the increase in synthetic drug production and use, the security analyst said.
“Capturing the pink cocaine czar is another success for the Colombian National Police, which is making good use of intelligence,” Gálvez said. “ It is another example of how Colombia has managed to strengthen its security apparatus.”
Colombian security forces have also made great progress in eradicating the cultivation and production of cocaine, Gálvez said.
Security forces must continue their vigilance, the security analyst said. “
Colombian authorities are continuing to fight organized crime groups,” Gálvez said. “The Colombian government will continue to strengthen its security forces in the cities.”
Julieta Pelcastre contributed to this article.
It's wonderful that all those idle people are captured and punished for life. Maybe now they will learn to quit the vice. OK Any person dedicated to drug trafficking and illicit gain, in any other part of the world, should be captured by the authorities and punished. They cause a lot of harm. Thank you for this kind of news. I congratulate you. It's all very pretty, this way I learn more about life. I think the Colombian police has done a good job. WE HOPE THAT ALL COUNTRIES COME TOGETHER FOR A GOOD CAUSE, TO ELIMINATE THIS EVIL THAT IS HURTING THE SOCIETY AND THE WORLD OVERALL, THE SIMPLEST ONES, WHO ARE OUR CHILDREN AND YOUTH OF THE WORLD. SAY NO TO DRUGS AND YES TO LIFE. You should publish more information on these matters. Well, it would be better if the national police received a fair salary, instead of a starvation wage. Until when will greed rule the world? I didn't like it, how ugly We Colombians are numbed out due to so many perverse delinquents. The only thing they do is harm the youth of all classes. I wish the authorities were tougher with the punishments and penalties imposed, but the most embarrassing thing is that they continue this behavior even from prison. Damn the existing corruption. It's good, this way they stop sending us drugs, in the Dominican Republic. It's good that they are taking action so that children, teenagers and adults become aware and stop using drugs, and stop serving as mules for drug gangs. Congratulations to the authorities. Colombian policemen should wear hoods so they can't be identified and criminals can't threaten their families. This way they can work better against organized crime. Good evening, I want to thank you for informing our people the way you are doing. Congratulations! We must unify the family to analyze and improve the quality of life. Remove all vices from the community. It's good that they are fighting drug trafficking. Keep it up and much success. Interesting. Excellent work. These drugs take over the youth and destroy it along with the entire family. It's very important for the world that the police keep working with the different strategies provided by God. It appears that they are improving It's interesting to know the operative accomplishments against drug trafficking. Here's to the best police in the world. It would be good if police wasn't so corrupted, that way they would be more effective. It's very important that justice is made with these types of drugs, thanks to the people who fight against them. Hold on Pablo Escobar!!!! These guys are fools, Pablito used to help the people. Very good subject i am for legalisation, as long drugs will stay illegal, the profits will stay very high , and repression will never end. Let adults people choose themself what they want to do and try to concentrate your efforts on prevention for childs under 18. Legalisation drugs would give an enormous amount of money to each country that they loose with this repression system and stop all this wasted money injected in repression.
There's an urgent need for more information on prevention (causes and effect) for the entire population, starting in schools. We must continue to fight hard against drugs. It was a success but that's all, meaning there's plenty of work to do because they've done very little. It's wonderful that the Colombian police is well-prepared to fight against this scourge that is destroying society. Too bad that we, Venezuelans, can't rely on the same efficiency. The football selection has filled us with a patriotic sentiment. You filled us with national pride and hope. It is necessary to fight and eliminate these criminal groups that are ruining society. I'm not saying it's good or bad, but the biggest mafia in the country is the state (government) itself. The thing is that they work under legal norms and laws but the government is the most corrupt and mafioso of them all. Very good. Very interesting and detailed. The State must fight drug trafficking effectively, using all security entities in order to give society a good education. One of the goals is to fight drug trafficking collectively, the State security agencies along with the communities. That's very interesting. I was unaware of the existence of pink cocaine and of that price difference. It's disturbing for our reality. That's how Colombia is: punishment for the thugs. Not like here, where the government protects them. It is necessary to fight this evil with all possible means, and end it, especially for the sake of our children and grandchildren. Very good. He should be punished to death. Very interesting. I didn't know about this drug, thank God it hasn't arrived to Panama yet. Pink cocaine is probably more dangerous than the current one. That's the way it's done. I hope that one day they will end this evil that is affecting both adults and children. How I love you, Colombia. That's what Venezuela needs. They should follow their example. We are gonna have to change ourselves if we want a country free of corrupt politicians that only look out for their own interests. Very explanatory, I was not aware of the details about this drug. If you want to end drug trafficking, you need to seriously consider legalizing drugs, otherwise you will never end this sweet torment. That's good. This is alarming news that needs to be analysed, especially for the sake of our children, since danger is at our front doors. That's right. Hooray for the Colombian police who had the courage to catch that drug lord and didn't accept any bribery as many other corrupt cops do. There are also other policemen like these Colombian brothers who are honest. Drug yourself, send it to us Very good. It's a warning for all Latin American countries regarding this kind of people. There should be no benefit, only life imprisonment to ensure that they don't keep harming our youth, which are tomorrow's future. May God prevent any more suffering for a mother and the grandparents. Excellent work from our intelligence forces. We continue fighting organized crime. Another additional problem for the world. We must tackle it with a firm hand -H. Excellent! We are very pleased with your information, thanks a lot! Well, that's all good but there's also the possibility that it's all for show, and after he gets off the horse and nothing has happened, they forget about the issue... We must eliminate these plagues that only want to harm society. The Colombian police have done an extraordinary job. The police force of other countries should imitate them. The main authorities, the army, the elite research groups, both in Colombia as well as in the U.S., are accomplices, they are indirect accessories to the trafficking and use of all the existing drugs, so.....until when will there be so many lies about this issue. Drugs exist because they are permitted by the authorities and are ruining the lives of our youth as well as destroying their families, all over the world, and all because of the damn money. If drugs didn't generate any profit, they wouldn't exist. It's that easy. When will they eliminate them....Beware, don't be fooled. This type of comments is interesting. Well, you always read that drugs will be eliminated, but every day there are more drug innovations and regardless of how much you fight them, they will continue to travel around the world. That's good.... Let's take one step at a time and not be fooled: With a great usage of strategy and technology, the police captures the delinquents. These go to jail and are received as great heroes, and the real crime universities are created with the testimonial contribution of all of the most feared and canny individuals that have broken the law. Because, those that were captured for minor felonies promise not to commit acts of less importance without being absorbed by bands that are increasingly more specialized and there they start practicing everything they have learned in the seclusion centers. The police has no saying in these acts, the penal and incarcerating system of our country does not foresee in the least the rehabilitation, much less within the dilapidated, unimproved prisons with a high index of overcrowding. Excellent and quite new for me, also great intelligence work. It's excellent that they captured these people that cause so much harm to society but there needs to be real justice. I didn't know that pink cocaine existed. Excellent job by the Colombian police. Another drug trafficker behind bars. Give the death penalty or a life sentence to these drug bandits, and also for child rapists. This should be included in our VENEZUELAN Constitution. I hope they continue catching those delinquents that are causing this terrible sickness to our youth. Excellent!!! I like it when the authorities make a priority to fight off delinquency. Particularly drugs and insecurity. Finally, a big fish has been caught, but there will be others doing the same. These assholes are ridiculous. He should be punished to death. Really good information. The article on the evolution of drugs is very interesting Yeah especially the government 1# drug traffickers