A man accused of plotting the attack that killed Argentine singer Facundo Cabral, who was shot dead in Guatemala in July last year, has been arrested in Colombia.
Costa Rican Alejandro Jimenez Gonzalez, alias "Palidejo," was arrested when the Colombian Navy stopped a boat that he was traveling on, near the country's Pacific coast. He had come from Panama, and was intending to travel towards a country further south in the continent, according to the police.
Colombian police chief Oscar Naranjo told the press that Jimenez was under the protection of the Rastrojos drug gang, who were planning to help him leave the country.
Guatemalan prosecutors say that Jimenez hired gunmen to assassinate his business associate Henry Fariñas Fonseca after a dispute. Facundo Cabral, a popular Argentine singer, was traveling in a car with Fariñas at the time of the attack, and was killed.
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The claim that the Rastrojos were involved in protecting Jimenez suggests that he has deep connections across the region. Jimenez’s network reportedly began operating in 2007, and is composed of Costa Ricans, Guatemalans, and Nicaraguans.
Mario Zamora, Costa Rica's security minister, stated that his country and Guatemala had issued orders for Jimenez's capture, and that Costa Rican authorities had been monitoring him since 2000. Jimenez allegedly led a money-laundering organization with his wife and parents, moving millions of dollars in cash from Nicaragua to Costa Rica and Panama.
If Jimenez is sent to Guatemala and convicted of Cabral's murder, it would be a victory for the judicial system of the country, where impunity is the norm. The government moved quickly after Cabral's death, arresting three suspects within days.