International Cooperation Leads to the Capture of Peruvian Fugitive ‘El Gordo’

By Dialogo
November 19, 2014



Rodolfo Orellana’s days running from the law are over thanks to the work of Colombian security forces and international cooperation.

Agents with Colombia’s Central Directorate of the Judicial Police and Intelligence (DIJIN), with the assistance of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), captured Orellana, who was one of Perú’s most-wanted fugitives, in Cali on November 13.

Orellana, also known as “El Gordo,” was wanted by the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) on charges of money laundering and illicit association. At the time of his arrest he allegedly was producing counterfeit documents so he could escape to Sweden. El Gordo had been in Colombia for two months, where he had been protected by “friends and contacts,” including “family members of a murdered Valle del Cauca drug trafficker,” according to Colombia’s presidential website. Colombian law enforcement authorities have returned him to Perú.

There, law enforcement authorities accuse El Gordo of masterminding a huge criminal network that made about $100 million (USD) from the illegal seizure and resale of properties that were legally owned by individuals and the government. Allegedly, he formed about 50 front companies to launder the money he generated from fraudulent transactions. Law enforcement officials are also investigating El Gordo for alleged narco-trafficking links.

El Gordo’s illegal network started unraveling in April, when more than 25 Peruvian journalists held a press conference to announce he had threatened them because they were investigating his business dealings. Two months later, Perú’s counter-corruption office started investigating his network in the Department of Ancash.

Prosecutors obtained an arrest warrant for El Gordo in July. He fled to Colombia to evade capture.

Security forces captured El Gordo’s sister, Ludith, who allegedly was a high-ranking member of the network, in the Peruvian city of Huaral on the same day her brother was captured.

Mexican drug cartels arming Costa Rican gangs


Mexican transnational criminal organizations are providing weapons, including AK-47s and grenades, to Costa Rican drug gangs, Costa Rican Attorney General Jorge Chavarría
said on November 13. The Costa Rican gangs use the weapons to fight each other.

Chavarría
didn’t specify which Mexican drug cartels are supplying weapons to Costa Rican gangs, but the Sinaloa Cartel and the Knights Templar are both active in the region.

Nearly 90 percent of the cocaine that reaches the United States is transported through Central America and Mexico, according to the United Nations International Narcotics Control Board. The Costa Rican government has seized nearly 23 metric tons of cocaine this year, according to Public Security Minister Celso Gamboa. He announced the total after security forces confiscated two loads of drugs in early November in Peñas Blancas, the country's official border crossing into Nicaragua.

In one case, seizure, security forces seized 580 kilograms of cocaine and US $3,600 concealed in the walls of a Costa Rican-registered container truck carrying refrigerators. Police, who were alerted to the presence of the cocaine by sniffer dogs, arrested the truck's driver, whom they identified as a 34-year-old Nicaraguan.

In a separate incident, security forces found about 68 kilograms of cocaine hidden inside the floor of a truck driven by a Guatemalan national. Police seized the drugs and arrested the driver, a 35-year-old man.

Police have placed both suspects have been placed in the custody of the Prosecutor’s Office in Liberia, the provincial capital of Guanacaste.


Rodolfo Orellana’s days running from the law are over thanks to the work of Colombian security forces and international cooperation.

Agents with Colombia’s Central Directorate of the Judicial Police and Intelligence (DIJIN), with the assistance of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), captured Orellana, who was one of Perú’s most-wanted fugitives, in Cali on November 13.

Orellana, also known as “El Gordo,” was wanted by the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) on charges of money laundering and illicit association. At the time of his arrest he allegedly was producing counterfeit documents so he could escape to Sweden. El Gordo had been in Colombia for two months, where he had been protected by “friends and contacts,” including “family members of a murdered Valle del Cauca drug trafficker,” according to Colombia’s presidential website. Colombian law enforcement authorities have returned him to Perú.

There, law enforcement authorities accuse El Gordo of masterminding a huge criminal network that made about $100 million (USD) from the illegal seizure and resale of properties that were legally owned by individuals and the government. Allegedly, he formed about 50 front companies to launder the money he generated from fraudulent transactions. Law enforcement officials are also investigating El Gordo for alleged narco-trafficking links.

El Gordo’s illegal network started unraveling in April, when more than 25 Peruvian journalists held a press conference to announce he had threatened them because they were investigating his business dealings. Two months later, Perú’s counter-corruption office started investigating his network in the Department of Ancash.

Prosecutors obtained an arrest warrant for El Gordo in July. He fled to Colombia to evade capture.

Security forces captured El Gordo’s sister, Ludith, who allegedly was a high-ranking member of the network, in the Peruvian city of Huaral on the same day her brother was captured.

Mexican drug cartels arming Costa Rican gangs


Mexican transnational criminal organizations are providing weapons, including AK-47s and grenades, to Costa Rican drug gangs, Costa Rican Attorney General Jorge Chavarría
said on November 13. The Costa Rican gangs use the weapons to fight each other.

Chavarría
didn’t specify which Mexican drug cartels are supplying weapons to Costa Rican gangs, but the Sinaloa Cartel and the Knights Templar are both active in the region.

Nearly 90 percent of the cocaine that reaches the United States is transported through Central America and Mexico, according to the United Nations International Narcotics Control Board. The Costa Rican government has seized nearly 23 metric tons of cocaine this year, according to Public Security Minister Celso Gamboa. He announced the total after security forces confiscated two loads of drugs in early November in Peñas Blancas, the country's official border crossing into Nicaragua.

In one case, seizure, security forces seized 580 kilograms of cocaine and US $3,600 concealed in the walls of a Costa Rican-registered container truck carrying refrigerators. Police, who were alerted to the presence of the cocaine by sniffer dogs, arrested the truck's driver, whom they identified as a 34-year-old Nicaraguan.

In a separate incident, security forces found about 68 kilograms of cocaine hidden inside the floor of a truck driven by a Guatemalan national. Police seized the drugs and arrested the driver, a 35-year-old man.

Police have placed both suspects have been placed in the custody of the Prosecutor’s Office in Liberia, the provincial capital of Guanacaste.
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