HomeNewsBriefArgentina Approves Extradition of Colombia Capo ‘Mi Sangre’
BRIEF

Argentina Approves Extradition of Colombia Capo 'Mi Sangre'

ARGENTINA / 23 MAY 2016 BY MICHAEL LOHMULLER EN

Argentina approved the extradition of top Colombian drug lord "Mi Sangre" to the United States, creating speculation as to what information he may offer US drug officials and why he is not first being sent to his home country of Colombia.

On May 19, a judge in Buenos Aires signed off on the extradition of Henry de Jesús López Londoño, alias "Mi Sangre," to face drug charges in the United States, reported Infobae.

Arrested in Argentina in October 2012, López Londoño began his criminal career with Medellín's Oficina de Envigado. He went on to become a top leader of Colombian criminal organization the Urabeños and was allegedly in charge of the group's Medellín operations.

He began living in Argentina with his wife and son in 2011.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Mi Sangre

López Londoño fought extradition to face charges in a south Forida court, claiming to be the victim of political persecution by the Colombian government and US Drug Enforcement Administration. His trial, originally scheduled to begin in November 2013, was delayed several times by his defense team.

According to La Nacion, López Londoño can appeal the extradition decision before Argentina's Supreme Court.

InSight Crime Analysis  

If the extradition proceeds, Mi Sangre's transfer to US custody raises several intriguing questions.

The first is his value as an intelligence source for US drug agents. Although he has been away from Colombia for several years, Mi Sangre was a key figure in Medellín's criminal underworld, and likely has information on his criminal contacts and their modus operandi that law enforcement is keen to acquire.  

Indeed, Mi Sangre may have information linking Colombian politicians to drug trafficking and involvement with paramilitaries, having himself been a member of the paramilitary United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia – AUC). He has made lightly veiled threats to implicate officials in the past.

During a May 20 interview with La W Radio, López Londoño lawyer María Gabriela Ricagno was asked what her client meant when he said after being captured: "If they thought what they knew about General Santoyo was something, when I talk, that is going to seem like a child's play." Ricagno told the interviewer he would just have to ask her client.

General Mauricio Santoyo served as former President Álvaro Uribe's security chief from 2002 to 2005. He was sentenced to 13 years in prison by a US court at the end of 2012 for links to the AUC.

That an Argentinian judge has approved Mi Sangre's extradition to the United States, instead of sending him to Colombia, could also be related to a thawing of Argentina-US relations under President Mauricio Macri. During a recent visit to Argentina, US President Barack Obama moved to strengthen bi-lateral security ties and collaborative efforts to combat organized crime

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

CACHIROS / 7 OCT 2014

Eight of the 19 Honduran drug traffickers wanted by the United States have now been captured, a significant advance for…

COLOMBIA / 16 MAY 2011

Two Colombian local politicians, both members of the Liberal Party, were murdered Saturday in a town close to…

COLOMBIA / 19 JUL 2012

Documents, including a diary, which reportedly belonged to a Colombian drug lord offer a glimpse into the corruptive power of…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

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.

THE ORGANIZATION

Series on Environmental Crime in the Amazon Generates Headlines

17 SEP 2021

InSight Crime and the Igarapé Institute have been delighted at the response to our joint investigation into environmental crimes in the Colombian Amazon. Coverage of our chapters dedicated to illegal mining…

THE ORGANIZATION

Exploring Climate Change and Organized Crime

10 SEP 2021

In July, InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley moderated a panel for the Climate Reality Project's regional series of workshops for young climate activists in the Americas. The week-long event…

THE ORGANIZATION

Gearing Up a New Class of Interns

3 SEP 2021

InSight Crime is readying its newest class of interns – from universities in Europe and the Americas – to begin investigative work on a number of high-impact projects. For the…

THE ORGANIZATION

Tracking Environmental Crime in the Amazon

27 AUG 2021

Next week, InSight Crime launches an investigation – conducted with Brazilian think-tank the Igarapé Institute – on the sophisticated organized crime structures and armed groups that…