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…

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About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Strategic Communications Manager Job Description

12 FEB 2021

InSight Crime is looking for a full-time strategic communications manager. This person needs to be able to work in a fast-paced world of daily news, high-profile investigations, national and international…

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THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

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Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

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