HomeNewsBriefColombian ‘Narco-Wives’ Arrested in Argentina
BRIEF

Colombian ‘Narco-Wives’ Arrested in Argentina

ARGENTINA / 16 APR 2012 BY EDWARD FOX EN

Argentine authorities have dismantled a drug trafficking ring which allegedly involved the ex-wives of two major Colombian drug traffickers, underscoring the importance of Argentina as a location for foreign gang leaders.

On April 13, police in Buenos Aires province arrested Maria Claudia Gomez, ex-wife of the deceased Pedro Oliveiro Guerrero, alias “Cuchillo,” (pictured left) along with Ruth Martinez, ex-wife of Daniel “El Loco” Barrera, (pictured right). Both were detained in Nordelta gated community in the north east of the province, accused of belonging to an international drug trafficking ring that sent cocaine from Argentina to Spain, reports Argentinian news site Perfil.

The operation, named “Louis XV” because the group allegedly used antique furniture to smuggle drugs, also led to the arrest of 23 others (nine Colombians, two Spanish and 12 Argentines) along with the seizure of 280 kilos of cocaine, reports Clarin.

The group reportedly had ties to Ignacio Alvarez Meyendorff, an alleged ex-member of the Norte del Valle cartel arrested in Buenos Aires last year and thought to be linked to Barrera, and Alejandro Gracia Alvarez, the focus of police investigations into the smuggling ring.

InSight Crime Analysis

The alleged dealings between Gomez and Martinez can perhaps be traced to the alliance between their former husbands. Barrera, one of the largest traffickers in Colombia, long had ties to the Popular Revolutionary Anti-Terrorist Army of Colombia (ERPAC) in the country’s Eastern Plains prior to the group’s “demobilization” in December last year. Despite being estranged from their partners, the two women appear to have continued this alliance.

More importantly, the operation once again draws attention to Argentina as a potential haven for Colombian traffickers. The most infamous example of this came when Hector Edilson Duque Ceballos, alias “Monoteto,” a top member of the Cordillera Cartel, was shot and killed in Buenos Aires in 2008. One of the current leaders of the Urabeños, Henry de Jesus Lopez, alias “Mi Sangre,” is also reported to have spent time in Argentina between 2007 and 2008, laying low due to rivalry with criminal organizations in his home country.

Most recently, rival leaders of the Medellin-based Oficina de Envigado, the now-captured Maximiliano Bonilla Orozco, alias “Valenciano,” and Erick Vargas Cardenas, alias “Sebastian,” were reported to have traveled to the Argentine city of Rosario in September last year to negotiate a truce between their warring factions.

Argentina is attractive to drug trafficking bosses for two reasons. One, many face intense pressure in their home countries, forcing them to choose somewhere else to operate from for short periods. Secondly, Argentina serves as a principal transit route for cocaine on its way to Europe, making the country strategically important for transnational criminal organizations.

Compartir icon icon icon

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

ARGENTINA / 15 JUL 2014

Authorities in Argentina have warned of possible money laundering by HSBC bank in a case involving Anglo-Dutch oil and gas company…

ARGENTINA / 21 AUG 2018

A new wave of threats and violent attacks against judges, prosecutors and witnesses involved in the case against the Monos…

ARGENTINA / 24 FEB 2011

Argentina narrowly avoided sanctions Wednesday for its failure to tackle money laundering, reflecting growing international concern about drug trafficking profits…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…