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.

Compartir icon icon icon

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.

Related Content

COLOMBIA / 22 MAY 2018

Authorities in Colombia have captured one of the last remaining leaders of the Urabeños, a devastating blow to the country’s…

COLOMBIA / 8 JUL 2014

Authorities in Cali, Colombia have attributed a decrease in homicides to a combination of citizen security measures and increased presence…

EXTRADITION / 15 AUG 2013

In an attempt to placate US officials, Mexico has filed a provisional arrest warrant to facilitate the capture and extradition…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…