Colombian police have arrested a man who is accused of being the Gulf Cartel’s top man in South America.
Police captured Andres Vieda Duque, known as “El Duque,” and two of his subordinates in raids in three Colombian cities, according to a press release. Police believe that Duque, a Colombian national, was in charge of the South American operations of the Mexico-based cartel.
According to the police, El Duque had also taken on the task of managing drug shipments from Central America following the arrest of another Gulf member. Juan Manuel Garcia, the right-hand man to Gulf Cartel boss Jorge Eduardo Costilla Sanchez (alias “El Coss”), who had been in charge of drug shipments from Central America, was arrested in Costa Rica on July 5. El Duque had made at least 14 trips to Panama in the last year, according to the authorities.
Two subordinates arrested in the same operation handled drug transport and finances for the cartel’s Colombian enterprises, authorities said.
InSight Crime Analysis
The Colombian arrests show that the Gulf Cartel, one of Mexico’s oldest criminal groups and which has suffered serious blows in recent years, continues to manage international drug trafficking networks.
According to the police, the group ships cocaine from Colombia to Panama, Costa Rica, or Guatemala, then moves it north overland to Gulf strongholds on the Mexico-US border. The shipments are of 500 kg, on average.
El Duque’s arrest could be a serious blow to the Gulf’s international operations, if the police are correct in saying that he was coordinating shipments from Colombia and then onwards from Central America.
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.