HomeNewsBriefColombian Gang Leader Fights Extradition, Claiming 'Political Persecution'
BRIEF

Colombian Gang Leader Fights Extradition, Claiming 'Political Persecution'

EXTRADITION / 14 NOV 2012 BY CLAIRE O NEILL MCCLESKEY EN

Urabeños leader Henry de Jesus Lopez Londoño, alias "Mi Sangre," is fighting extradition to the United States, claiming that he is the victim of political persecution on the part of Colombian officials.

The kingpin said he was facing "political persecution" from former government officials and police, and that he fears for his life, reported EFE.

At a hearing on November 13 in Buenos Aires, where Mi Sangre was arrested on October 30, his lawyer, Carlos Olita, claimed that his client had proof that Colombian officials fabricated evidence against him.

Mi Sangre claims to be innocent of the charges placed against him both in Colombia and the United States, stating in a recent interview with an Argentine newspaper that he has never been involved in drug trafficking. According to Caracol Radio, Mi Sangre has argued that he was in Argentina to seek refuge from a group of police officers who have been persecuting him since 2005.

Insight Crime Analysis

Mi Sangre's claims of innocence -- he said that he had never moved "even a single gram of cocaine" -- are belied by his long and well-documented criminal history. The capo started out working for the Oficina de Envigado, Medellin's main mafia network, before joining paramilitary umbrella group the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC). Following the AUC's demobilization, Mi Sangre, like many of his fellow paramilitaries, joined the Urabeños, which is based on Colombia's Caribbean coast. Mi Sangre rose through the group's ranks, becoming one of the Urabeños' top leaders after the death of the group's military commander, Juan de Dios Usuga, alias "Giovanni," in January 2012. 

[Read InSight Crime's profile of Mi Sangre]

Until his arrest in Buenos Aires last month, Mi Sangre was infamous for his ability to evade justice. Colombia did not issue a warrant for his arrest until March 2012, despite the fact that Mi Sangre had been a powerful force in the criminal underworld for over a decade.

Mi Sangre's capture required cooperation between law enforcement and intelligence agencies from various countries, including Interpol, the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Colombia's judicial police, and Argentine intelligence.

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

COCAINE / 9 FEB 2022

As Colombian traffickers and police continually try to outfox each other, liquid cocaine has returned to the fore as an…

COLOMBIA / 28 JUL 2022

Colombia's Urabeños are killing police officers, letting the incoming government know they're still a force to be reckoned with.

COLOMBIA / 27 APR 2022

Before his arrest and extradition, Otoniel, both a former guerrilla fighter and ex-paramilitary, has an unparalleled reputation in the underworld.

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…