HomeNewsBriefArrested Bogota Microtrafficking Leader Linked to BACRIM
BRIEF

Arrested Bogota Microtrafficking Leader Linked to BACRIM

COLOMBIA / 23 APR 2013 BY MARGUERITE CAWLEY EN

Venezuelan authorities have arrested the head of a powerful Bogota microtrafficking gang with alleged links to BACRIM groups, evidence of the cozy relationship between transnational criminal organizations and Colombia's local drug distributors.

Rigoberto Arias Castrillon, alias "Rigo", head of the "Manguera" gang, was arrested in Venezuela on April 21. "Manguera" operated in one of Bogota's principal microtrafficking zones, El Bronx, and according to police was responsible for over 50 percent of Bogota's drug distribution, making 80-100 million pesos ($43,500-$54,500) per day, reported Semana.

Colombian police had been following Rigo since December, and he was wanted by Interpol to face charges of drug trafficking, murder, extortion and kidnapping.

According to Bogota police, Arias was the last major El Bronx gang leader to be arrested, following the arrests of the heads of the two other principal gangs -- "Homero" and "Mosco" -- as well as Arias' second-in-command. Police link Rigo to the BACRIM (from the Spanish "bandas criminales") group "La Cordillera" from the time he began his career in Colombia's Coffee Region, later forming microtrafficking network "Los Rolos" in Pereira before moving to Bogota. According to El Tiempo, he was also connected with the Rastrojos.

The inheritor of Rigo's trade in the Coffee Region -- with whom he continued to maintain drug connections -- was arrested a month earlier.

InSight Crime Analysis

Rigo's capture and alleged connections provide evidence major criminal groups are involved with increasingly sophisticated Colombian microtrafficking operations. The former leader of La Cordillera, arrested in 2011, was believed to have controlled the domestic drug market in both Colombia's Coffee Region and Quito, Ecuador.

Microtrafficking has become an increasingly lucrative trade in Colombia, leading President Juan Manuel Santos to announce a major police operation to combat the illicit business in April. Semana's information indicates the extent of the profits to be made. A previous report by Caracol Radio in January described one Bogota gang making $300,000 a month.

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 / 11 MAY 2021

Colombia’s current political crisis has led to severe clashes between police and protesters in many of the country’s largest cities.

BELIZE / 10 AUG 2021

The leader of a transnational money laundering network cleaned drug money through a scheme that included casinos, a seafood export…

COCAINE / 9 JUN 2022

An ingenious Italian-Colombian sting operation has arrested dozens of people on both continents and seized a huge quantity of cocaine,…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Europe Coverage Makes a Splash

20 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an analysis of the role of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as an arrival hub for cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico.  The article was picked up by…

THE ORGANIZATION

World Looks to InSight Crime for Mexico Expertise

13 JAN 2023

Our coverage of the arrest of Chapitos’ co-founder Ovidio Guzmán López in Mexico has received worldwide attention.In the UK, outlets including The Independent and BBC…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Shares Expertise with US State Department

16 DEC 2022

Last week, InSight Crime Co-founder Steven Dudley took part in the International Anti-Corruption Conference organized by the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Immediate Response to US-Mexico Marijuana Investigation

9 DEC 2022

InSight Crime’s investigation into how the legalization of marijuana in many US states has changed Mexico’s criminal dynamics made a splash this week appearing on the front page of…

THE ORGANIZATION

‘Ndrangheta Investigation, Exclusive Interview With Suriname President Make Waves

2 DEC 2022

Two weeks ago, InSight Crime published an investigation into how Italian mafia clan the ‘Ndrangheta built a cocaine trafficking network from South America to ‘Ndrangheta-controlled Italian ports. The investigation generated…