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.

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 / 2 MAY 2011

The Australian Crime Commission, a government agency, has published its 2011 report on organized crime in the country. The…

COLOMBIA / 27 JAN 2016

Venezuela's capital city of Caracas has reportedly overtaken Honduras' San Pedro Sula to become the most violent city in the…

COCAINE / 12 MAR 2019

A remote port along the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica has long seen shipments of bananas and pineapples conceal another…

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…