The arrest of a Colombian alleged drug trafficker in the middle of his luxury wedding party draws attention to the high-class lifestyle of some of the country’s top criminals, and the ongoing fascination with narco-culture.
A police video (watch below) shows law enforcement officers breaking up the wedding. One officer is heard telling the guests to lie down on the floor with their hands on their heads as the camera surveys the wreckage of the party. Some guests are heard crying in the background; others are glimpsed in skimpy beach gear.
The detainee, Camilo Torres Martinez, alias “Fritanga,” (pictured above, posing with his wife at the wedding) is accused of being a boss of the Urabeños drug gang and is wanted by the US. He is seen comforting his crying bride before the police lead him away, and the guests break into applause as Fritanga finally exits the scene.
The wedding was held in a luxury resort on an island off the coast of Sucre department, a region that forms part of the Urabeños’ stronghold.
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The arrest has generated fascination in Colombia partly because the video and other images of the wedding offer a glimpse of an alleged drug trafficker’s upper class lifestyle. A number of B-list Colombian celebrities, including a vallenato singer and some reggaeton stars, were reportedly in attendance. There was even a rumor that Colombia’s top model Natalia Paris attended, which she quickly denied. The wedding’s star guest list lends a veneer of legitimacy to alleged criminals like Fritanga, and calls attention to the degree of tolerance that exists for drug traffickers in Colombia’s high society.
The interest in the video is also part of a long tradition of public fascination with the materialistic lives of drug traffickers. Much of the coverage of Fritanga’s “narco” wedding has focused on how elaborate it was: the exclusive location, the 150-person guest list. As with “narco-mansions” and “narco-tombs,” expensive narco-weddings generate public interest precisely because they are so excessive and over-the-top.
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