Sinaloa Cartel Branch Head Detained in Ecuador

By Dialogo
January 07, 2011

The alleged leader of an armed branch of the Mexican Sinaloa cartel in Ecuador is being detained following anti-drug operations in the Andean province of Loja (in southern Ecuador, on the border with Peru), the public prosecutor in the port of Guayaquil (in southwestern Ecuador), Antonio Gagliardo, indicated on 5 January.

“The chief boss considered to be from Ecuador is being detained; he’s being detained under orders from the law-enforcement authorities,” Gagliardo told the press, without specifying the identity of the alleged gang leader or when he was arrested.

He added that the Ecuadorean authorities have carried out operations against the organization in Loja.

Gagliardo spoke after the Peruvian public prosecutor’s office reported that the Sinaloa cartel is financing two armed gangs along the border between Peru and Ecuador dedicated to producing and marketing cocaine.

Meanwhile, Patricio Cueva, the Loja public prosecutor, indicated that the agency has opened “an official investigation into several suspects, including two individuals native to (the locality of) Cariamanga, in Loja, with the surname Briceño.”

A source in the Fourth Organized-Crime Division of the Peruvian Public Prosecutor’s Office, who requested not to be named for reasons of security, told AFP that the criminal organization is led in Ecuador by the Colombian Rubén Castro Gómez, known as ‘Gordo’ [‘Fat’], operating out of Guayaquil and Cariamanga.

In Peru the organization’s coordinator is another Colombian, William Samboni Macías, alias ‘Calilla,’ who is believed to have his base of operations in the locality of Ayabaca (in northern Peru), on the border with Ecuador, according to the source, who investigated the case and filed proceedings with a court.

The source indicated that the investigation by the Peruvian public prosecutor’s office took place in the last quarter of 2010, in conjunction with the anti-drug public prosecutor’s office in Guayaquil.