Rastrojos

The Rastrojos were born out of the powerful Norte del Valle drug cartel and rose to become one of the most powerful transnational criminal syndicates in Colombia, until their top leadership surrendered or was captured in 2012.

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Latest News

COLOMBIA / 2 SEP 2021

The Urabeños, one of Colombia's dominant drug groups, are seemingly ramping up operations along the Colombia-Venezuela border – a gambit…

COLOMBIA / 19 JAN 2021

A new alliance between two of Colombia's main criminal groups is seeking to contest the ELN's control of lucrative criminal…

CONTRABAND / 23 DEC 2020

In a region where 50 percent of the population already makes its living in the informal market, it was perhaps…

EL KOKI / 19 OCT 2020

The Venezuelan government and security forces have spent the last few months building up a criminal known as Santanita and…

CONTRABAND / 24 JUL 2020

As Venezuelan citizens try to return home during the coronavirus pandemic, their own government has accused them of spreading the…

COLOMBIA / 30 MAR 2020

The Colombian criminal group Los Rastrojos is fighting a two-front war: against ELN guerrillas looking to usurp the group's highly…

Key Actors

Diego Perez Henao, alias 'Diego Rastrojo'

COLOMBIA / 2016-11-07 22:02:10

Diego Perez Henao, alias "Diego Rastrojo," was the military head of the Rastrojos, a criminal syndicate whose reach stretches across Colombia, and into Ecuador and…

Luis E. Calle Serna

COLOMBIA / 2017-02-16 22:07:27

Luis Enrique Calle Serna was a leader in the feared and ambitious Rastrojos criminal organization in Colombia. He surrendered to US authorities in Panama on October 2, 2012, and was sentenced…

Javier Antonio Calle Serna, alias 'Comba'

COLOMBIA / 2017-03-10 03:35:08

Javier Antonio Calle Serna, alias “Comba,” was the top leader of the Rastrojos, a group of former paramilitary hitmen turned drug trafficking organization in Colombia. He…

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About InSight Crime

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Apure Investigation Makes Headlines

22 OCT 2021

InSight Crime’s investigation into the battle for the Venezuelan border state of Apure resonated in both Colombian and Venezuelan media. A dozen outlets picked up the report, including Venezuela’s…

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InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

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InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

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Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

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Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.

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