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

EXTRADITION / 8 AUG 2022

A US request has led Guatemala to dismantle a prolific human smuggling ring that smuggled migrants to the United States.

AUC / 23 NOV 2022

A close relationship between a Colombian warlord and an Italian restaurateur would lead to Europe being flooded with cocaine by…

COCAINE / 17 AUG 2021

A cell within a notorious Montenegrin cocaine trafficking group has been dismantled on Spain’s Canary Islands, demonstrating how Balkan drug…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Escaping Barrio 18

27 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an investigation charting the story of Desafío, a 28-year-old Barrio 18 gang member who is desperate to escape gang life. But there’s one problem: he’s…

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…