HomeNewsBriefColombia Takes Down Another Oficina de Envigado Leader
BRIEF

Colombia Takes Down Another Oficina de Envigado Leader

COLOMBIA / 12 JAN 2015 BY KYRA GURNEY EN

Colombia has captured one of the Oficina de Envigado's last remaining leaders, dealing a major blow to an organization that traces its roots back to the Medellin Cartel and has served as the criminal counterweight to the Urabeños.

On January 9, anti-drug police arrested Julian Andrey Gonzalez Vasquez, alias "Barny," in Bogota, Colombia, reported El Espectador. Colombian authorities have identified Gonzalez -- who has been on the US Treasury Department's kingpin list since September 2014 -- as the head of an Oficina de Envigado faction and the leader of La Terraza, a powerful Medellin assassin network originally run by the successor to Pablo Escobar, Diego Fernando Murillo, alias "Don Berna". Gonzalez has also been implicated in the July 2012 murder of two anti-drug police and the 2008 deaths of three individuals, reported El Tiempo.

Earlier on the day of his capture, Barny had returned to Colombia from Costa Rica, where he had been hiding out for several years. Colombian authorities learned of his location in August 2014 after he was involved in a drunk-driving accident, but were unable to request his extradition because he had become a Costa Rican citizen.  

According to El Tiempo, Colombian police reported that Barny had returned to his home country to meet with lawyers and attempt to negotiate with the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). He also allegedly planned to reorganize the criminal structure in Medellin's neighborhoods, known as the comunas.

Although Barny's criminal partners the Urabeños would theoretically be the main beneficiaries of his capture, Colombian security forces have also gone after that group. Urabeños leader Santander Franco Jimenez, alias "Omar," was arrested on January 8, and authorities confirmed the capture of the supposed fourth-in-command, alias "Abeja" the following day.

InSight Crime Analysis

Colombian authorities have dealt several major blows to the Oficina de Envigado in recent years, beginning with the capture of warring Oficina faction leaders Maximiliano Bonilla, alias "Valenciano," and Erick Vargas, alias "Sebastian," in 2011 and 2012, respectively. With Barny's capture, the Oficina has lost one of the last major leaders capable of uniting different factions. In his stead, Fredy Alonso Mira Perez, alias "Fredy Colas" who is also on the US Treasury's kingpin list, appears to be the group's only remaining heavyweight. According to El Tiempo, Mira was captured in November 2014, but freed because there were no arrest warrants in his name.

SEE ALSO: Oficina de Envigado News and Profile

El Tiempo reported that Barny got his start in Colombia's criminal underworld by importing shoes from Panama to Medellin, where he met Leonardo Muñoz, alias "Douglas," a former Oficina leader who was captured in 2009. In addition to running an assassin network, Barny allegedly became a practitioner of the Santeria religion, and became known as a "brujo" (witch).  He unsuccessfully tried to use Santeria to evade capture and hide from his enemies.  

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

COLOMBIA / 2 NOV 2015

According to Colombia's government, the laundering of profits from drug trafficking and common crime accounted for two percent of the…

COLOMBIA / 27 JAN 2016

Venezuela's capital city of Caracas has reportedly overtaken Honduras' San Pedro Sula to become the most violent city in the…

COLOMBIA / 10 DEC 2020

Congress has released a sweeping report on drug policy in the Americas, laying out a long list of recommendations for…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Unraveling the Web of Elites Connected to Organized Crime

27 JUL 2021

InSight Crime published Elites and Organized Crime in Nicaragua, a deep dive into the relationships between criminal actors and elites in that Central American nation.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime’s Greater Focus on US-Mexico Border

20 JUL 2021

InSight Crime has decided to turn many of its investigative resources towards understanding and chronicling the criminal dynamics along the US-Mexico border.

THE ORGANIZATION

Key Arrests and Police Budget Increases Due to InSight Crime Investigations

8 JUL 2021

With Memo Fantasma’s arrest, InSight Crime has proven that our investigations can and will uncover major criminal threats in the Americas.

THE ORGANIZATION

Organized Crime’s Influence on Gender-Based Violence

30 JUN 2021

InSight Crime investigator Laura N. Ávila spoke on organized crime and gender-based violence at the launch of a research project by the United Nations Development Programme.

THE ORGANIZATION

Conversation with Paraguay Judicial Operators on PCC

24 JUN 2021

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley formed part of a panel attended by over 500 students, all of whom work in Paraguay's judicial system.