The Invisible Drug Lord: Hunting 'The Ghost'

COLOMBIA / 29 MAR 2020

Drug traffickers today realize that their best protection is not a private army but anonymity.

This is the story of “Memo Fantasma” or “Will the Ghost,” who started life in the Medellín Cartel, funded the bloody rise of a paramilitary army, and today lives the high life in Madrid.

He has helped move hundreds of tons of cocaine yet has no arrest warrants, and nobody is looking for him.

Chapter 1

'The Invisibles' of the Drug World

AUC / 29 MAR 2020

Drug traffickers today have realized that their best protection is not a private army, but rather total anonymity. We call these drug lords "the invisibles." This is the story of…

Chapter 2

Hunting the Ghost: a Face and a Name

AUC / 29 MAR 2020

The hunt for “Will the Ghost,” or “Memo Fantasma” had stalled once again. The name Guillermo Camacho did not register with anyone. Had The Ghost managed to wipe all traces…

Chapter 3

The Ghost and His Paramilitary Army

AUC / 29 MAR 2020

In 1997, the paramilitary army began its bloody campaign across Colombia, supposedly to fight the Marxist rebels, but really to take control of the cocaine trade. “Will the Ghost” or…

Chapter 4

The Ghost Loses Drug Trafficking Partners

AUC / 29 MAR 2020

After the demobilization of the AUC in 2006, the paramilitary high command was behind bars. All except alias “Sebastían Colmenares” and his alter ego, “Memo Fantasma,” who was still moving…

Chapter 5

Tracking the Ghost: Follow the Money

AUC / 29 MAR 2020

“The Ghost” had fled Medellín, tied off loose ends in the underworld and perhaps suspended his drug trafficking activities. He disappeared with millions of dollars. That kind of money is…

Chapter 6

The Ghost Lives the High Life in Madrid

AUC / 29 MAR 2020

The Ghost, a paramilitary drug lord, has moved to Madrid with his millions of drug dollars. He has dodged the Colombian justice system and perhaps secured a pass from the…

Memo Fantasma is Captured in Bogota

Related Content

COLOMBIA / 23 APR 2021

The Libertadores del Vichada are a splinter group of the Popular Revolutionary Anti-Terrorist Army of Colombia (ERPAC) based in…

COCA / 14 MAR 2019

Colombia’s Constitutional Court is debating lifting a judicial ban on the spraying of glyphosate during the controversial aerial fumigation of…

COLOMBIA / 11 NOV 2019

Destruction of wildlife spurred by illegal fishing in the Ciénaga de Simití swampland in the northern Colombia department of Bolívar…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Unraveling the Web of Elites Connected to Organized Crime

27 JUL 2021

InSight Crime published Elites and Organized Crime in Nicaragua, a deep dive into the relationships between criminal actors and elites in that Central American nation.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime’s Greater Focus on US-Mexico Border

20 JUL 2021

InSight Crime has decided to turn many of its investigative resources towards understanding and chronicling the criminal dynamics along the US-Mexico border.

THE ORGANIZATION

Key Arrests and Police Budget Increases Due to InSight Crime Investigations

8 JUL 2021

With Memo Fantasma’s arrest, InSight Crime has proven that our investigations can and will uncover major criminal threats in the Americas.

THE ORGANIZATION

Organized Crime’s Influence on Gender-Based Violence

30 JUN 2021

InSight Crime investigator Laura N. Ávila spoke on organized crime and gender-based violence at the launch of a research project by the United Nations Development Programme.

THE ORGANIZATION

Conversation with Paraguay Judicial Operators on PCC

24 JUN 2021

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley formed part of a panel attended by over 500 students, all of whom work in Paraguay's judicial system.

icon #SupportFreePress
image

Support Our Work

Investigating organized crime is an expensive and often risky enterprise. Reaching primary sources and getting the real story involve extensive fieldwork. Please donate. Every dollar supports our mission.

DONATE NOW image