HomeNewsBriefCaptured Nicaragua Trafficker Claims Sandinista Leader Wants Him Dead
BRIEF

Captured Nicaragua Trafficker Claims Sandinista Leader Wants Him Dead

COSTA RICA / 17 JUN 2014 BY KYRA GURNEY EN

A recently captured drug trafficker from Nicaragua has accused Sandinista political heavyweight Eden Pastora of placing a hit on his life, something that speaks to the political and criminal intrigue surrounding one of Nicaragua's legendary figures and the ruling party. 

Agustin Reyes Aragon, the leader of Nicaraguan drug transport group the Tarzanes, was captured in Costa Rica on June 12, as part of a police operation targeting a drug trafficking network near the Nicaraguan border. Shortly after his arrest, Reyes allegedly begged Costa Rican authorities not to send him to Nicaragua, claiming Pastora had paid hit men roughly $3,600 to kill him, reported Diario Extra.    

Pastora allegedly placed a hit on Reyes' life after the Tarzanes leader reported irregularities related to Calero Island -- which formed part of a disputed territory on the border between Nicaragua and Costa Rica -- to government authorities in 2010.

At that time, Pastora was the government official in charge of dredging the San Juan River along the border region, an activity Costa Rica denounced as causing environmental damage to a protected wetland. Reyes is reportedly a key part of the case because he reported the presence of Nicaraguan security forces on property he owned in the disputed area, which neither country was supposed to enter until the dispute was resolved.   

InSight Crime Analysis

Reyes' reporting of the illegal presence of Nicaraguan security forces likely had less to do with concerns for the environment or the sovereignty of Costa Rica than with the drug trafficking network he ran from Calero Island. After the case went to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the court issued a 2013 verdict granting Calero Island to Costa Rica. This enabled Reyes to continue his operations outside the jurisdiction of Nicaraguan security forces, who had issued a warrant for his arrest. 

SEE ALSO: Nicaragua News and Profiles

However, by filing a complaint he brought himself into conflict with an extremely powerful government figure -- an unwise move in a country where some authorities appear to exercise a top-down control over the underworld.

Eden Pastora was a legendary Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) guerrilla leader in Nicaragua known as "Comandante Cero," who became Vice Minister of the Interior when the rebels overthrew the dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza in 1979. He has been part of the Sandinista inner circle for decades since.    

Pastora was heavily involved in the territorial dispute with Costa Rica, and even became the subject of an international arrest warrant issued by Interpol at the request of the Costa Rican government as tensions between the two countries rose.    

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 / 12 SEP 2022

The consequences of illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing are immediate and enormous across Latin America and the Caribbean.

ARGENTINA / 5 JUL 2022

Why did drug trafficking enjoy such a boom during the COVID-19 pandemic…

ELITES AND CRIME / 27 JAN 2021

Nicaragua's Indio Maíz Biological Reserve, on the southern border with Costa Rica, is under assault.

About InSight Crime

WORK WITH US

Open Position: Full Stack WordPress Developer

28 NOV 2022

As Full Stack WordPress Developer You Will: Work collaboratively with other developers and designers to maintain and improve organizational standards.Demonstrate a high level of attention to detail, and implement best…

THE ORGANIZATION

Join Us This #GivingTuesday in Exposing Organized Crime

24 NOV 2022

For over twelve years, InSight Crime has contributed to the global dialogue on organized crime and corruption. Our work has provided policymakers, analysts, academics, journalists, and the general public with…

THE ORGANIZATION

Like Crime, Our Coverage Knows No Borders

18 NOV 2022

The nature of global organized crime means that while InSight Crime focuses on Latin America, we also follow criminal dynamics worldwide. InSight Crime investigator Alessandro Ford covers the connections between Latin American and European…

THE ORGANIZATION

Using Data to Expose Crime

11 NOV 2022

Co-director Jeremy McDermott made a virtual presentation at a conference hosted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The ‘Sixth International Conference on Governance, Crime, and Justice…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime ON AIR

4 NOV 2022

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley was interviewed for the podcast The Rosenberg Case: A Tale of Murder, Corruption, and Conspiracy in Guatemala, which explores the potential involvement of then president, Álvaro Colom,…