HomeNewsBrief‘El Loco’ Barrera Extradition Opens Door for More Fragmentation
BRIEF

‘El Loco’ Barrera Extradition Opens Door for More Fragmentation

COLOMBIA / 10 JUL 2013 BY JAMES BARGENT EN

Notorious Colombian drug trafficker Daniel “El Loco” Barrera has been extradited to the United States, marking the end of the era of Colombian capos and cartels as the country’s underworld continues to fragment.

Barrera was flown to New York, where he will be arraigned on drug trafficking charges first in a Manhattan federal court, then in a Brooklyn federal court. He also faces additional charges in Florida.

SEE ALSO: Daniel ‘El Loco’ Barrera Profile

He was arrested in Venezuela in September 2012, bringing an end to a multi-decade career in drug trafficking, which saw Barrera become one of the most influential figures in Colombian organized crime.

InSight Crime Analysis

After his capture, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos called Barrera the “last of the capos,” and his extradition provides a fitting end to a period dominated by infamous drug-trafficking kingpins and monolithic cartels. In its place, a new era of more decentralized criminal networks has sprung up, with no one figure or organization able to lay claim to the power and influence garnered by their predecessors.

Barrera was renowned for his negotiating skills and for establishing a broad network of drug trade contacts, which spanned the spectrum of Colombian organized crime. Barrera built alliances with numerous organizations, including the guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), from which he bought cocaine, and the now fragmented narco-paramilitary group the Popular Revolutionary Anti-Terrorist Army of Colombia (ERPAC).

After his arrest, Semana obtained recordings of Barrera in which he announced his intention to collaborate fully with law enforcement. If he carries through on this plan, then further details are likely to emerge about his allies’ operations, as well as his transportation networks in Venezuela, Central America and Mexico, and connections with corrupt authorities throughout the hemisphere.

Barrera’s departure also raises questions over who will fill the vacuum he leaves behind. There are already indications of rising violence in the Eastern Plains region, which was once dominated by Barrera and his allies in ERPAC.

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

COLOMBIA / 25 JAN 2012

Guerrillas from the FARC attacked a radar installation in the southwest province of Cauca, suggesting a concerted effort by the…

COLOMBIA / 26 NOV 2018

Reports about the prolonged visit of the son of alleged Mexican drug kingpin Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán to Colombia’s city…

COLOMBIA / 23 MAR 2016

Organized crime is not an abstract concept for me. I grew up in Oak Park, a leafy suburb of Chicago…

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…