HomeNewsBriefColombia Govt Denies Crime Boss Surrendered to US
BRIEF

Colombia Govt Denies Crime Boss Surrendered to US

24 APR 2012 BY ELYSSA PACHICO EN

Colombia's justice minister said that Javier Calle Serna, alias "Comba," leader of the Rastrojos gang, had not surrendered to US authorities, confirming a report by InSight Crime.

Spanish newspaper El Mundo reported last week that the drug lord had turned himself in to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which Minister Juan Carlos Esguerra said was "speculation." The minister spoke to reporters after leaving a meeting with US Attorney General Eric Holder.

Officials from the US Department of Justice told Esguerra that they were "ignorant" of Calle Serna's alleged surrender, according to the minister.

Following the reports that Calle Serna was in custody, Colombian newspaper El Tiempo said Thursday that two other prominent drug traffickers, Daniel Barrera, alias "El Loco," and Henry de Jesus Lopez, alias "Mi Sangre," were also negotiating their surrender to the US.

InSight Crime Analysis

Rumors that Calle Serna and his brother, Luis, are in talks with US justice have been circulating since last year. President Juan Manuel Santos himself confirmed the reports in February.

But, after recent media reports that Javier Calle Serna had surrendered, sources told InSight Crime that he was not yet in US custory. Esguerra also said that he did not know of any "negotiations" between the US and the Rastrojos.

If the Calle Sernas are interested in negotiating a plea bargain with the US, this will likely be a slow, drawn-out process, with little accurate news on the talks leaked to the media. Other prominent drug traffickers who secured more lenient sentences from the US in return for intelligence, including members of the Cali and Medellin Cartels, were typically already in custody before they struck deals with US prosecutors.

It would be more unusual to bargain with high-level criminals like the Calle Sernas as an incentive for them to give themselves up.

The prominence of the Calle Sernas in Colombia's criminal underworld means that it will not be easy to reach a negotiated settlement quickly. The Rastrojos commanders would likely have to give detailed information on their drug trafficking operations and their business associates, as well as the identities of any collaborators in the security forces or the government. They would also likely have to give up much of their personal wealth and assets.

Colombian and US authoritities are unlikely to grant the Rastrojos leaders lenient terms unless they can secure highly valuable information in return (like the alleged location of Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquin Guzman, which the Calle Sernas reportedly may be willing to share).

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

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution Met With Uproar

6 MAY 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime launched its latest investigation, Venezuela’s Cocaine Revolution¸ accompanied by a virtual panel on its findings. The takeaways from this three-year effort, including the fact that Venezuela…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…