HomeNewsBolivia Family Clans Key Cocaine Suppliers to Brazil, Colombia
NEWS

Bolivia Family Clans Key Cocaine Suppliers to Brazil, Colombia

BOLIVIA / 14 MAY 2021 BY PARKER ASMANN EN

The extradition of a prominent Bolivian drug trafficker to Brazil reveals how family clans in the Andean nation serve as important cocaine suppliers to powerful organized crime groups across the region.

In May, Bolivia extradited alleged drug trafficker Jesús Einar Lima Lobo, the suspected leader of the Lima Lobo family clan, a long-standing drug group operating in the Bolivian Amazon along the northeast border with Brazil.

Lima Lobo faces charges of international drug trafficking brought against him in 2017 by Brazilian authorities.

First arrested back in October 2019 in Bolivia's Santa Cruz department bordering Brazil, Lima Lobo avoided extradition for a time due to contracting COVID-19 and allegedly due to the assistance of certain police, army and government officials, according to a Página Siete report. An investigation has been opened into whether former interior minister, Arturo Murillo, and former national police commander, Rodolfo Montero, acted to protect Lima Lobo from extradition, the government announced in May.

SEE ALSO: Bolivia News and Profiles

In April 2020, Edwin Douglas Lima Lobo, the leader of the group and brother of Jesús Einar, began a 15-year prison sentence for drug trafficking in Bolivia.

Suspected members of the Lima Lobo clan have also run into trouble abroad. In October 2017, Brazilian authorities arrested Fabio Lima Lobo, the son of former Cali Cartel leader Célimo Andrade Quintero and Lima Lobo’s nephew.

Fabio Lima Lobo was arrested alongside Carlos Andrés Áñez Dorado, the nephew of former interim president Jeanine Áñez, after they landed in Brazil on a plane carrying almost half a ton of cocaine.

InSight Crime Analysis

The Lima Lobo clan provides rare insights into the role Bolivia's secretive family clans play in the region's border cocaine trafficking dynamics.

The Lima Lobo family first rose to prominence in the 1990s, with its power base set up around the town of San Joaquín, in Bolivia's northern department of Beni, close to the Brazilian border. It ended up supplying cocaine to drug trafficking groups in Colombia and Brazil, including the First Capital Command (Primeiro Comando da Capital PCC), according to both Interpol and Bolivia's interior minister.

The group relied on a fleet of aircraft and clandestine airstrips, as well as other land and river routes, to ship cocaine over the border into Brazil, according to Bolivia's police chief, Jhonny Aguilera. Once there, the product moves in two directions: on to major cities for domestic consumption or to strategic seaports to be loaded onto container ships bound for the lucrative European market.

SEE ALSO: Business As Usual? Cocaine Seizures On the Rise At Bolivia-Brazil Border

The clan also had connections to Colombian drug lords. Andrade Quintero, who was arrested by Bolivian authorities in the Chapare coca-growing region in 1992, was allegedly the head of a Cali Cartel faction operating in Bolivia in the early 1990s. Bolivian anti-drug forces say Lima Lobo was the “heir” to the powerful drug trafficking network Andrade Quintero managed before being captured, according to El Deber, citing Bolivia's former interior minister, Carlos Romero.

Bolivia is currently the world’s third-largest coca growing country the raw ingredient used to produce cocaine behind Colombia and Peru. Its porous border with Brazil is marked by vast swathes of isolated terrain, making it difficult to patrol and an ideal place for drug smugglers to operate. The country is also the primary source of cocaine trafficked and sold by the PCC, São Paulo state prosecutor Marcio Sergio Christino told InSight Crime last year.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

COLOMBIA / 15 APR 2015

A new report examining extortion in Colombia provides an illustration of the scope of the crime, revealing how the search…

COCAINE / 9 NOV 2017

Colombia's largest cocaine seizure in over a decade is a blow to the Urabeños criminal group and illustrates the impact…

COCAÍNA / 16 MAR 2022

The recent arrests of women transporting cocaine in fake pregnancy bellies, show that human couriers, an old method employed by…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution Met With Uproar

6 MAY 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime launched its latest investigation, Venezuela’s Cocaine Revolution¸ accompanied by a virtual panel on its findings. The takeaways from this three-year effort, including the fact that Venezuela…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…