HomeNewsBriefSpain Arrests Colombian 'Hitmen' Linked to Rastrojos, Sinaloa Cartel
BRIEF

Spain Arrests Colombian 'Hitmen' Linked to Rastrojos, Sinaloa Cartel

COLOMBIA / 25 FEB 2013 BY JAMES BARGENT EN

Spanish police have dismantled an alleged network of Colombian hitmen in a case that highlights the foothold that Colombian criminal groups retain in the country -- and the growing influence of Mexican cartels.

Police announced the capture of seven members of a collection "office," who worked on behalf of Colombian drug traffickers, allegedly beating, kidnapping or murdering those who owed the traffickers money, reported El Pais. The arrests followed a 16-month investigation by the Spanish authorities.

The alleged leader of the gang, Luis David Garcia, alias "El Conejo," has previously been linked to a criminal group known as "Los Señores del Acido" (The Lords of Acid) because of their alleged habit of dissolving their victims in acid, reported 20 minutos.

The Señores del Acido were known to have worked closely with the Calle Serna brothers -- Colombian traffickers who were key figures in the Norte del Valle Cartel and its successors the Rastrojos -- a connection that El Conejo is believed to have maintained.

Police arrested the seven gang members on weapons charges, after catching them in possession of an arsenal that included five rifles, two AK-47s, pistols with silencers, two shotguns and an anti-tank grenade launcher. According to the police, the gang intended to transfer the weapons to Mexican traffickers, linked to the Sinaloa Cartel, for use in an attack on their debtors, reported 20 Minutos.

InSight Crime

The Rastrojos' presence in Europe has until now bucked the trend of Colombian organizations ceding trafficking routes to the increasingly powerful Mexican cartels, and the group has retained a significant presence in the European country. However, this may not be the case for long.

Over the last year, the Rastrojos has been in disarray; all its top leaders have been arrested or surrendered, while the remnants of the group have been struggling to combat the advances of rivals the Urabeños in key strategic areas, especially in their heartland in Valle del Cauca province.

From the information provided by the police, it appears El Conejo and his gang had close ties to the Rastrojos, but, with the fracturing of the organization, were looking elsewhere for new contracts -- including Mexican cartels.

This scenario fits the analysis of European police force Europol, which in its 2012 report on drugs and trafficking in Europe, identified Colombian organizations as the only Latin American criminal groups to have a significant presence in Europe beyond simple trafficking connections, but warned of the growing presence of Mexican cartels.

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 / 16 OCT 2019

A ring that sexually exploited minors from Venezuela has been dismantled in Colombia, but this only further highlights the vulnerability…

COLOMBIA / 14 NOV 2019

Three years ago, a massive police operation swept through the Bronx, a small neighborhood at the center of much of the…

MEXICO PERSONALITIES / 2 JUL 2020

The now-jailed former Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquín Guzmán Loera, alias “El Chapo,” had many sons, but only a select few…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution Met With Uproar

6 MAY 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime launched its latest investigation, Venezuela’s Cocaine Revolution¸ accompanied by a virtual panel on its findings. The takeaways from this three-year effort, including the fact that Venezuela…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…