HomeNewsBriefColombia Hitman Arrested in Spain Was 'Rastrojos Europe Link'
BRIEF

Colombia Hitman Arrested in Spain Was 'Rastrojos Europe Link'

COLOMBIA / 21 JAN 2014 BY CHARLES PARKINSON EN

A hitman from Colombia arrested in Spain for a double homicide in Holland allegedly acted as a link between the Rastrojos and European criminal groups, in a further sign of the penetration of Colombian organized crime into Europe.

Juan Alejandro Roldan Puentes, alias "Niño,” was arrested in Madrid following a joint operation by Colombian, Spanish and Dutch authorities. He is accused of killing two Colombians in Amsterdam in May 2013 over a $270,000 drug debt owed to an unidentified trafficker known as “Talisman,” reported El Tiempo.

Roldan had lived in Spain for two years and, according to Colombia's National Police Director Rodolfo Palomino, formed part of a network of hitmen working for the Rastrojos drug trafficking organization and linked to the Hells Angels biker gang, reported El Pais. The Hells Angels saw dozens of members arrested last year in Spain over drug trafficking and other illegal activity. El Tiempo also reported a link between Roldan and Mexican cartels, but gave no further details.

Roldan is now the subject of an extradition request from Holland and faces charges of murder, money laundering, theft, extortion and the disposal of dead bodies, reported the Associated Press.

InSight Crime Analysis

Over recent years, the Rastrojos have been the preeminent Latin American organized crime presence in Spain, and the capture of Roldan comes less than a year after an assassin network linked to the group was dismantled there. Reports of a working relationship between the Rastrojos and Sinaloa Cartel have also abounded in recent years, making a link to Mexican organized crime in the present case entirely feasible.

However, with the Rastrojos now in disarray it is unclear if Roldan’s reported link to the criminal group was ongoing or a remnant from the past.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of the Rastrojos

With the decline of the Rastrojos, there have been signs Colombia's most powerful group, the Urabeños, are muscling into Spain, which is an attractive base of operations as the principal entry point for Latin American drugs arriving in Europe.

The European market has become increasingly popular with Colombian groups, as Mexican groups have gained a stranglehold on the flow of drugs into the United States. The European route is also attractive because it presents a lower risk of interdiction and extradition than the United States.

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

ALFONSO CANO / 4 JUL 2011

Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos has revealed that the leader of the FARC rebel group recently narrowly avoided…

COLOMBIA / 22 JUL 2020

Inmate uprisings have ripped through prisons in Latin America amid COVID-19 outbreaks, offering further evidence that the region’s prison systems…

COLOMBIA / 1 MAY 2013

Colombian officials have seized 11 tons of contraband meat near the border with Venezuela, which authorities have linked to the…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Gender and Investigative Techniques Focus of Workshops

26 NOV 2021

On November 23-24, InSight Crime conducted a workshop called “How to Cover Organized Crime: Investigation Techniques and A Focus on Gender.” The session convened reporters and investigators from a dozen…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Names Two New Board Members

19 NOV 2021

In recent weeks, InSight Crime added two new members to its board. Joy Olson is the former executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America…

THE ORGANIZATION

Senate Commission in Paraguay Cites InSight Crime

12 NOV 2021

InSight Crime’s reporting and investigations often reach the desks of diplomats, security officials and politicians. The latest example occurred in late October during a commission of Paraguay's Senate that tackled…

THE ORGANIZATION

Backing Investigative Journalism Around the Globe

5 NOV 2021

InSight Crime was a proud supporter of this year's Global Investigative Journalism Conference, which took place November 1 through November 5 and convened nearly 2,000 journalists…

THE ORGANIZATION

Tracking Dirty Money and Tren de Aragua

29 OCT 2021

InSight Crime was delighted to support investigative reporting in the Americas through a workshop with our friends at Connectas, a non-profit journalism initiative that facilitates collaboration…