The killing of Óscar Mauricio Pachón, alias "Puntilla", leader of the criminal band Los Puntilleros, is a high profile event but it is unlikely to have a major impact on the drug trafficking gangs of Colombia’s Eastern Plains.
On December 4, Puntilla died in a clash with police in an apartment in Medellin, El Espectador reported.
Pachón was first arrested in February 2016 before being released in April 2017 due to a lapse in the terms of his incarceration, but a new warrant was issued for his arrest in September 2018 on various charges.
According to the Colombian Attorney-General’s Office, Puntilla was in Medellin after reaching an agreement to receive protection from the Oficina de Envigado gang in exchange for handing over control about part of the drug trafficking routes through the Eastern Plains, according to El Tiempo.
SEE ALSO: Los Puntilleros Profile
Pachón was a drug trafficker with more than 25 years of experience in the criminal world. He was a part of the Medellin and Cali Cartels and went on to lead the armed criminal groups Bloque Meta and Libertadores de Vichada, now known collectively as Los Puntilleros. In this way, he was considered one of the most important criminal leaders of Colombia's Eastern Plains.
InSight Crime Analysis
Despite the high profile of Puntilla, it is unlikely that his death will cause major rumbles in the underworld of the Eastern Plains for several reasons.
After his release from prison in 2017, Pachón sought to remain in hiding, with strong indications that this was due to his loss of influence in the drug trafficking business.
First, Pachón's agreement with the Oficina de Envigado, where the gang provided protection and security in exchange for receiving information about drug trafficking routes, seemed to indicate that he had lost power and influence.
SEE ALSO: Profile of Puntilla
Second, after several arrests of its members, the Puntilleros have been left increasingly weakened. According to field research conducted by InSight Crime, Los Urabeños and Los Puntilleros may have sealed an alliance in the region of Meta to share control of the drug trafficking business.
These two facts could show why Pachón was trying to distance himself from the drug trafficking business or at least maintain a low profile. This means the death of Puntilla may ultimately be of little consequence, given the rise of stronger actors in the region, such as FARC dissidents.