Member of Gang of Hitmen Arrested in Aruba, Colombian Government Says

By Dialogo
May 13, 2011

On 11 May, the Colombian government announced the arrest, on the Caribbean island of Aruba, of Gustavo Álvarez (alias ‘Tavo’), the second-in-command of a gang of hitmen working for drug traffickers and led by Maximiliano Bonilla (alias ‘Valenciano’).

In a statement, President Juan Manuel Santos congratulated the police, the Aruban authorities, and the U.S. ICE and DEA “for the coordinated work that enabled the arrest” of Álvarez.

According to the document, the arrest of alias ‘Tavo,’ sought for extradition by the United States, “constitutes a strategic blow” against the drug-trafficking organization.

Hours earlier, Alonso Salazar, mayor of the city of Medellín (400 km northwest of Bogotá), where the criminal organization has its base of operations, had affirmed on his Twitter account that the Curaçao authorities had arrested Bonilla.

According to the President’s office, the director of the police himself, Gen. Oscar Naranjo, went to Aruba, accompanied by a high-level police commission, to directly coordinate the development of the operation in which Álvarez was arrested.