HomeNewsBriefColombia Paramilitary Leader 'El Aleman' Released From Prison
BRIEF

Colombia Paramilitary Leader 'El Aleman' Released From Prison

AUC / 31 JUL 2015 BY MICHAEL LOHMULLER EN

A former Colombian paramilitary leader with extensive links to organized crime has been released from prison, which may have significant consequences for Colombia's underworld and the country's largest drug trafficking group, the Urabeños.

On July 30, Freddy Rendon Herrera, alias “El Aleman,” was released from the maximum-security prison Itagui after completing an eight-year sentence, reported El Colombiano. A judge ordered his release earlier this year after determining he had satisfactorily fulfilled conditions set out in Colombia's Justice and Peace Law, which offers former paramilitaries reduced sentences in exchange for their demobilization and testimony on the armed conflict. 

Rendon led the Elmer Cardenas Bloc of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), a coalition of right-wing paramilitary groups that completed formal demobilization in 2006. Rendon is also the brother of Daniel Rendon Herrera, alias "Don Mario," a former paramilitary chief and founder of criminal organization the Urabeños.

Rendon is required to continue attending court hearings for the next four years, and if he doesn't follow through with this obligation he is subject to receiving 40 years in prison, reported El Colombiano.

InSight Crime Analysis

Rendon's close ties to the Urabeños -- including their current boss, Dario Antonio Usuga, alias “Otoniel,” -- suggest the former paramilitary may be well-positioned to re-enter Colombia's underworld. Following the decline of other neo-paramilitary groups such as the Rastrojos, the Urabeños are now unquestionably the biggest drug trafficking organization in Colombia.

SEE ALSO: Colombia News and Profiles

Rendon's re-emergence would be good news for the Urabeños, who despite their position atop Colombia's criminal landscape have struggled to withstand a prolonged security offensive in their heartland, the northwest region of Uraba. Colombian officials also say recent drug seizures have cost the Urabeños hundreds of millions of dollars, and that the criminal organization is now "desperate for money." 

Nonetheless, the Urabeños still have their top leader, Otoniel, and the drug trafficking group would stand to benefit by adding the criminal contacts and expertise Rendon acquired during his years operating in Colombia's underworld. 

However, Rendon's release also opens the door for his potential extradition to the United States. Rendon is wanted in the United States on drug trafficking charges, although his extradition request has reportedly been temporarily suspended. In February, Colombia's Supreme Court approved the extradition of another former paramilitary who had completed the Justice and Peace process, Rodrigo Perez Alzate, alias "Julian Bolivar,"  but President Juan Manuel Santos later overruled the decision.

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

COCA / 20 OCT 2022

Colombian coca cultivation and potential cocaine production has hit a record high. How will this impact the government's drugs policy?…

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 7 SEP 2021

Authorities have made a string of explosives and weapons seizures while patrolling the Colombia-Ecuador border region – a remote and…

COLOMBIA / 11 MAR 2021

Forests in Colombia are being ravaged by illegal mining, a criminal economy that has come to rival the drug trade…

About InSight Crime

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…

THE ORGANIZATION

‘Ndrangheta Investigation, Exclusive Interview With Suriname President Make Waves

2 DEC 2022

Two weeks ago, InSight Crime published an investigation into how Italian mafia clan the ‘Ndrangheta built a cocaine trafficking network from South America to ‘Ndrangheta-controlled Italian ports. The investigation generated…