Police in the Colombian city of Medellin have reported the arrest of one of the leaders of the criminal gang the Oficina de Envigado.
According to police, Carlos Augusto Correa Lopez, alias "Mono Pepe," was arrested on Saturday in the parking lot of a supermarket in the Poblado district of the city. He was apparently caught while attempting to collect a ransom payment for the release of a local businessman, Alfredo Gomez Montoya, who was kidnapped on November 3.
Also arrested were another three senior members of the Oficina de Envigado, identified as Oscar Bedoya Garcia, Jaime Alonso Quiceno Sanchez and Jhon Alexander Restrepo Londono.
Correa Lopez, 44, is said to be third in command of the Oficina, in charge of a faction of the group known as “La Union."
According to police commander, General Humberto Guatibonza, Correa Lopez began his criminal life at the age of 16 when he joined the vigilante group “Los Pepes” which stands for "People Persecuted by Pablo Escobar." He then became involved in the the Oficina de Envigado, established by Diego Fernando Murillo, alias "Don Berna."
Correa Lopez allegedly played an important role in the Oficina, acting as an intermediary between Maximiliano Bonilla Orozco, alias "Valenciano," and Erik Vargas Cardenas, alias "Sebastian," leaders of two opposing factions within the organization. He is thought to have travelled to Argentina in September to negotiate a truce between the two.
According to reports, a relative of Correa Lopez, known by the alias “Tuto,” who is leader of the “La Raya” gang, will step up to fill the void left by his arrest.