HomeNewsBriefColombia Capo May Be First Ever Extradited to United States, Twice
BRIEF

Colombia Capo May Be First Ever Extradited to United States, Twice

COLOMBIA / 7 MAR 2018 BY VICTORIA DITTMAR EN

A former member of Colombia’s Norte del Valle Cartel was the first Colombian to be extradited to face charges in the United States on two different occasions, a cautionary tale regarding the low sentences often handed to capos in the United States.

José Sánchez Cristancho, alias “El hombre del overol" ("the Overall Man"), was extradited on February 28. He had already been imprisoned in the United States between 2001 and 2006, and had spent another three years on probation. It did not last, as the US government charged that in 2014 he allegedly participated in a $1 million bank fraud, El Espectador reported.

Sánchez Cristancho then became a fugitive in Colombia, where he allegedly resumed his criminal activities, until his arrest in Bogotá in March 2017. His extradition to the United States was approved in October 2017.

The Overall Man was one of the leaders of the Norte del Valle Cartel under the command of Orlando Henao Montoya, who also used the same pseudonym in an effort to deceive authorities and make them believe that Sánchez Cristancho was the leader of the organization.

InSight Crime Analysis

Sánchez Cristancho may be the first Colombian capo extradited to the United States on two separate instances, but he is not the first crime boss to resume his criminal activities after having regained his freedom.

The case of Víctor Patiño, alias "El Químico," and that of Carlos José Robayo, alias "Guacamayo," both of whom were also former members of the Norte del Valle Cartel who returned to Colombia to reclaim their properties, launched a bloody confrontation with a rival group the Rastrojos in the process.

Professor and criminal ethnographer David Martínez Amador believes that unlike the great Mexican or Colombian drug traffickers, it is relatively easy for drug traffickers to return to the criminal world after serving short sentences in the United States.

SEE ALSO: Colombia News and Profiles

"If we talk about the big Colombian or Mexican capos," Martínez Amador told InSight Crime, "The sentences are draconian and, although they do not stipulate life in prison in all cases, the capos return at an age where it is more difficult to return to the organization and compete with new leadership." 

However, relatively short sentences such as that against Sánchez Cristancho generate rational incentives to return to the criminal world.

"The contacts are still valid, and there are spaces available. It is illogical to think that all of these individuals tend to commit themselves to not reoffend," Martínez Amador said.

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 / 21 MAR 2022

A top Colombian drug trafficker walked out of a maximum-security prison in Bogotá without ever being challenged, exposing deep-seated corruption…

COCAINE / 26 MAR 2021

Authorities in Europe -- already overwhelmed by a flood of cocaine arriving in cargo ships -- now must face another…

AUC / 8 AUG 2022

Guillermo León Acevedo Giraldo, alias "Memo Fantasma," has been granted his liberty from a maximum-security prison in Bogotá.

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…