HomeNewsBriefColombia's "Widow of the Mafia" Assassinated
BRIEF

Colombia's "Widow of the Mafia" Assassinated

COLOMBIA / 28 DEC 2012 BY JEREMY MCDERMOTT EN

Lorena Henao Montoya, known as the "Widow of the Mafia," was murdered after assassins on a motorcycle strafed her car with bullets in the province of Armenia, just the latest chapter in a widening drug war.

Henao Montoya, age 43, was the widow of Ivan Urdinola, and the sister of Orlando Henao Montoya, alias "the Overall Man."  Both men were heads of the now-defunct Norte Del Valle Cartel (NDVC), which according to US authorities smuggled more than 500 tons of cocaine from Colombia. Urdinola died in prison in February 2002 under suspicious circumstances, perhaps poisoned. His wife Lorena had herself been imprisoned on drug-related charges, after being arrested in Panama in 2004. She was been released in May 2011 after serving a sentence for conspiracy, fraud and bribery. Her daughter with Urdinola, Emma, aged just 23, is in prison for murder.

InSight Crime Analysis

There are various theories as to the motives behind the killing of Lorena Henao. One is that relatives of her ex-husband wanted properties that she controlled. Another theory is that some of her relatives in the powerful Henao criminal clan, who make up part of the Machos gang which now works with the Urabeños, saw her as an obstacle to business.

National Police Chief General Jose Roberto Leon Riaño said the police were working on the theory that she as killed as part of pending debts and problems with the Rastrojos.

Her murder is almost certainly linked to the wider drug war along the Pacific coast after the surrender to US authorities of Javier Calle Serna, alias "Comba." Comba has delivered to US authorities much of the internal workings of the Rastrojos, the powerful drug syndicate that he led. This has resulted in widespread violence in Rastrojos strongholds with rival traffickers settling accounts and seeking to take over territory, as the criminal gang implodes.

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 / 6 OCT 2017

A protest by farmers in Colombia against government eradication of coca crops left several civilians dead and wounded. But conflicting…

COLOMBIA / 14 OCT 2016

The FARC's commander in chief and Colombia's political opposition have staked out their positions on the renegotiation of a peace…

CHINA AND CRIME / 25 AUG 2017

Colombian authorities have arrested members of a network that trafficked women from Colombia to China, revealing some of…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Guatemala Social Insecurity Investigation Makes Front Page News

10 DEC 2021

InSight Crime’s latest investigation into a case of corruption within Guatemala's social security agency linked to the deaths of patients with kidney disease made waves in…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela El Dorado Investigation Makes Headlines

3 DEC 2021

InSight Crime's investigation into the trafficking of illegal gold in Venezuela's Amazon region generated impact on both social media and in the press. Besides being republished and mentioned by several…

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…