HomeNewsBriefPeru’s “Tony Montana” Captured in Ecuador
BRIEF

Peru’s “Tony Montana” Captured in Ecuador

EUROPE CRIME / 14 SEP 2015 BY ELIJAH STEVENS EN

Peruvian drug trafficker Gerald Oropeza, alias "Tony Montana," was arrested on September 10, 2015, in Ecuador, a significant step for the police amongst Peru’s mixed success in targeting port-based narcotrafficking.

Oropeza is suspected of exporting large shipments of cocaine from El Callao port on the Peruvian coast to Europe, Central America and Mexico. He also allegedly has ties to Italy’s 'Ndrangheta criminal group

Oropeza had been on the run for five months after authorities issued an order for his arrest on April 20, 2015, following an attack on Oropeza’s vehicle, the result of a feud with a suspected drug trafficker named Gerson Galvez.

After his arrest by a joint operation between Ecuadorian and Peruvian police, Oropeza was reportedly deported back to Peru. Oropeza will be transferred to a maximum-security prison in Lima, according to El Comercio, where he will be held prior to his trial.

InSight Crime Analysis

The arrest of Gerald Oropeza serves as an important reminder of the key role that seaports, especially El Callao, play in Peru’s international drug trade, and the need for Peruvian forces to pay as much attention to criminal dynamics in the ports as they are to rebel-controlled cocaine production areas in the mountains.

SEE ALSO: Peru News and Profiles

Peru’s antinarcotics forces have focused recent efforts primarily on aerial trafficking, the principal method for drug export from the country. The military has taken steps to stop aerial trafficking by destroying remote airstrips, especially in the VRAEM region, where much of Peru’s cocaine is produced and where part of the Shining Path guerrillas operate. 

In August 2015, Peru’s congress unanimously approved legislation that allows the military to shoot down suspected drug planes. This controversial tactic has been implemented in attempts to stem aerial trafficking.

At the same time, though, antinarcotics forces have done little to tackle drug trafficking through Peru’s seaports. An investigation conducted by La Republica demonstrated how criminal groups and corrupt officials collaborate to smuggle hundreds of tons of cocaine through El Callao every year. 

Criminal networks, including Oropeza’s group, have also been involved in ongoing feuds over control of El Callao port, highlighting its importance to Peru’s international drug trade.

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

ELITES AND CRIME / 7 APR 2017

A Peruvian mayor has been arrested during an operation to dismantle a large criminal organization, providing new evidence of the…

COLOMBIA / 5 JUN 2014

Authorities in Colombia have re-arrested one of Italy's 20 most wanted mafiosos, serving as further evidence of the 'Ndrangheta's renewed…

BOLIVIA / 24 JUL 2013

The re-arrest of a Bolivian drug trafficker who works for an organization that allegedly helps move Peruvian cocaine through Bolivia…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Guatemala Social Insecurity Investigation Makes Front Page News

10 DEC 2021

InSight Crime’s latest investigation into a case of corruption within Guatemala's social security agency linked to the deaths of patients with kidney disease made waves in…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela El Dorado Investigation Makes Headlines

3 DEC 2021

InSight Crime's investigation into the trafficking of illegal gold in Venezuela's Amazon region generated impact on both social media and in the press. Besides being republished and mentioned by several…

THE ORGANIZATION

Gender and Investigative Techniques Focus of Workshops

26 NOV 2021

On November 23-24, InSight Crime conducted a workshop called “How to Cover Organized Crime: Investigation Techniques and A Focus on Gender.” The session convened reporters and investigators from a dozen…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Names Two New Board Members

19 NOV 2021

In recent weeks, InSight Crime added two new members to its board. Joy Olson is the former executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America…

THE ORGANIZATION

Senate Commission in Paraguay Cites InSight Crime

12 NOV 2021

InSight Crime’s reporting and investigations often reach the desks of diplomats, security officials and politicians. The latest example occurred in late October during a commission of Paraguay's Senate that tackled…