HomeNewsBriefEcuador Captures Alleged Link Between ‘Loco’ Barrera, Sinaloa Cartel
BRIEF

Ecuador Captures Alleged Link Between ‘Loco’ Barrera, Sinaloa Cartel

ECUADOR / 13 FEB 2012 BY GEOFFREY RAMSEY EN

Police in Ecuador have captured a man who allegedly serves as the link between powerful drug cartels in Colombia and Mexico, in a sign that the authorities could be moving closer to capturing Colombian kingpin Daniel “El Loco” Barrera.

Heriberto Fernandez Ramirez, alias “Beto,” was a high value target for Colombian police, and is believed to have been extremely well-connected in the country’s criminal underworld. After tracking him for some time, Colombian police alerted their counterparts in Ecuador that Fernandez was in the port city of Guayaquil. He was arrested on February 7, and transferred to Colombia. Fernandez is also sought by the US on drug trafficking charges.

Fernandez Ramirez reportedly began his criminal career as a middleman for Maximiliano Bonilla, alias “Valenciano,” who was captured last November in Venezuela. After a disagreement two years ago, Fernandez broke with Valenciano and allegedly began working for Daniel Barrera Barrera, alias “El Loco Barrera.” Fernandez is thought to have become a key link between the Colombian kingpin and Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel, allegedly meeting Sinaloa operatives in Honduras to set up drug shipments.

InSight Crime Analysis

The capture of Fernandez is the latest sign that authorities are monitoring Barrera’s drug network, and are getting closer to arresting Barrera himself. The kingpin is coming under increasing pressure from law enforcement, so much so that he may have killed a former associate of his in June for fear that he intended to betray him to the authorities. Indeed, intelligence sources have told InSight Crime that Barrera is considering turning himself in, and has begun negotiating the terms of his surrender with US officials.

The allegation that Barrera sent Fernandez to Honduras to meet lieutenants of the Sinaloa Cartel’s Joaquin Guzman, alias “El Chapo,” is significant. The deteriorated rule of law in Honduras, along with the high incidence of police corruption, have made the country an ideal transit point for drug trafficking organizations in the region. In September, Honduran Defense Minister Marlon Pascua claimed that 87 percent of cocaine which is sent from South America to the United States passes through Honduras. If Fernandez and Sinaloa Cartel representatives actually met in Honduras, it could suggest that the Mexican cartel is seeking to cut out Central American middlemen.

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.

Related Content

MEXICO / 12 NOV 2010

BBC reports on the discovery of a tunnel connecting Mexico and the United States in the Tijuana…

EXTRADITION / 24 MAY 2018

A US court handed down a life sentence to a Honduran drug trafficker linked to the Sinaloa Cartel -- just…

COLOMBIA / 22 SEP 2011

Colombian authorities seized assets valued at $250 million in an operation targeting members of the Cifuentes Villa gang, who allegedly…

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…