HomeNewsBriefBogota Killing Linked to Narco-Paramilitary War for East Colombia
BRIEF

Bogota Killing Linked to Narco-Paramilitary War for East Colombia

COLOMBIA / 8 OCT 2013 BY CHARLES PARKINSON EN

The head of one of several narco-paramilitary groups disputing Colombia's lucrative drug real estate on the Eastern Plains has been murdered in Bogota, which could help tip the balance in the conflict in favor of a group allied to the Urabeños.

Armando Carvajal Morales, alias "Mello," was gunned down in an upscale hair salon in northern Bogota on October 4, with his killer escaping on a waiting motorcycle. The assassination initially received little coverage, with the Carvajal reported to be a rancher and the victim of a "revenge" attack, reported El Tiempo.

However, police have now confirmed that he was considered the top commander of a group known as the Rudos, which is currently fighting for control of key cocaine production and trafficking land in the country's Eastern Plains region. According to police, Carvajal had 50 men under his direct control and led the Rudos alongside his brother Martin Carvajal, alias "Kike," reported El Tiempo.

The Rudos are one of several warring factions of the Popular Revolutionary Anti-Terrorist Army of Colombia (ERPAC), once the dominant power in the Eastern Plains. The region is thought to generate up to $300 million per year in cocaine sales.

InSight Crime Analysis

Through violence, corruption and strategic alliances, the ERPAC, led by Pedro Oliveiro Guerreo, alias "Cuchillo," became the main player in the Eastern Plains drug trade following the demobilization of the paramilitaries of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC).

SEE ALSO: ERPAC Profile

However, in the wake of Cuchillo's death, Jose Eberto Lopez, alias "Caracho" attempted to lead the ERPAC, but found himself shackled by infighting. Caracho demobilized in mid-2012, leaving a power vacuum that several faction leaders have sought to fill. The battle was complicated by the arrest of drug trafficker Daniel Barrera, alias "El Loco" in September 2012, who had worked closely with the ERPAC. The guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the Urabeños have also sought to gain ground in the region by building alliances with the various factions.

Among those fighting for control is one of the ERPAC's former top commander Martin Farfan Diaz, alias "Pijarbey," who was last year released from prison after serving three years of a four year sentence for criminal conspiracy. According to InSight Crime field research, Pijarbey may have struck a deal with the Urabeños, which would stand him in good stead to take control of the region, especially as one more rival has now been eliminated.

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

ARGENTINA / 4 NOV 2011

An Argentine court has sentenced a former Colombian beauty queen to six years and eight months in prison…

COLOMBIA / 18 JUL 2016

The recent discovery of a cocaine laboratory in Colombia's second biggest city could indicate a growing shift in production toward…

COLOMBIA / 17 FEB 2014

A firefight in Spain between a criminal group from Colombia and African drug traffickers has led to twelve arrests, perhaps…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Apure Investigation Makes Headlines

22 OCT 2021

InSight Crime’s investigation into the battle for the Venezuelan border state of Apure resonated in both Colombian and Venezuelan media. A dozen outlets picked up the report, including Venezuela’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

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.