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.

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 / 21 JUL 2016

The violence plagued city of Palmira saw 46 percent fewer homicides in the first six months of 2016 than in…

COLOMBIA / 20 JAN 2016

Media outlets are heralding a little-known Colombian drug trafficker as the top priority for US law enforcement now that Joaquín “El…

COLOMBIA / 6 AUG 2014

Authorities in Colombia have arrested seven officials accused of selling private information on victims of the armed conflict, demonstrating the…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Gender and Investigative Techniques Focus of Workshops

26 NOV 2021

On November 23-24, InSight Crime conducted a workshop called “How to Cover Organized Crime: Investigation Techniques and A Focus on Gender.” The session convened reporters and investigators from a dozen…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Names Two New Board Members

19 NOV 2021

In recent weeks, InSight Crime added two new members to its board. Joy Olson is the former executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America…

THE ORGANIZATION

Senate Commission in Paraguay Cites InSight Crime

12 NOV 2021

InSight Crime’s reporting and investigations often reach the desks of diplomats, security officials and politicians. The latest example occurred in late October during a commission of Paraguay's Senate that tackled…

THE ORGANIZATION

Backing Investigative Journalism Around the Globe

5 NOV 2021

InSight Crime was a proud supporter of this year's Global Investigative Journalism Conference, which took place November 1 through November 5 and convened nearly 2,000 journalists…

THE ORGANIZATION

Tracking Dirty Money and Tren de Aragua

29 OCT 2021

InSight Crime was delighted to support investigative reporting in the Americas through a workshop with our friends at Connectas, a non-profit journalism initiative that facilitates collaboration…