HomeNewsBriefEx-Head of Military Intel Awaits Verdict in Colombia Money Laundering Trial
BRIEF

Ex-Head of Military Intel Awaits Verdict in Colombia Money Laundering Trial

COLOMBIA / 31 AUG 2012 BY ELYSSA PACHICO EN

A former chief of Colombia’s military intelligence is awaiting a verdict in his money laundering trial, a reminder, amid the furor over a former Colombian police general on trial in the US for aiding paramilitaries, that the upper ranks of both the police and military have been co-opted by drug trafficking groups.

Retired general Pauselino Latorre is charged with laundering up to $2 million in cash for a drug trafficking ring, reported El Tiempo. The trial ended Aug. 22. Latorre commanded a military brigade based in a key strategic territory for drug traffickers, the Uraba coast then served as the director of military intelligence before retiring.

When Latorre was arrested in January 2008 along with another 21 suspects accused of drug trafficking, the scandal caused a widespread outcry in Colombia. Latorre was accused of collaborating with drug trafficker Carlos Aguirre Babativa, alias “El Señor,” who is believed to have once worked with one of Colombia’s most wanted drug lords, Daniel Barrera, alias “El Loco.”

According to prosecutors, Latorre helped set up a construction business and a private security firm in Bogota in order to disguise the profits from Aguirre’s drug trafficking operations.

InSight Crime Analysis

The evidence against Latorre is substantial, and he will likely receive the maximum prison sentence of 15 years in order to serve as an example of the Colombian justice system coming down hard against corrupt security officials. Prior to Latorre’s arrest, prosecutors recorded 3,500 phone conversations during the 18-month investigation into Aguirre’s drug trafficking ring. Latorre appeared in several of these recordings discussing payments with Aguirre.

At the time, Latorre’s arrest was considered a shocking example of the corruptive power wielded by drug trafficking organizations. But the recent case of Mauricio Santoyo, the head of former president Alvaro Uribe’s security ring who pleaded guitly to aiding the now demobilized paramilitary group the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), came as another jarring reminder that high-ranking officials in both the police and military have become willing collaborators for organized crime.

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

BELIZE / 10 AUG 2021

The leader of a transnational money laundering network cleaned drug money through a scheme that included casinos, a seafood export…

CHILE / 20 JAN 2022

Authorities in Chile have reported a string of massive maritime seizures of marijuana, indicating traffickers are searching for new smuggling…

COLOMBIA / 27 JAN 2016

Ex-paramilitary and founder of the Urabeños, alias "Don Mario," has linked former President Álvaro Uribe to paramilitary activity, but the…

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…