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

COLOMBIA / 21 JUL 2014

A Medellin mafia boss and enforcer has been arrested in Spain, where he was allegedly running drug trafficking networks moving…

HUMAN RIGHTS / 8 NOV 2017

Several Peruvian news outlets are facing a slew of lawsuits that highlight how Peru's harsh penalties against defamation…

MONEY LAUNDERING / 31 AUG 2012

U.S. and Peruvian authorities say Peru is now a major producer of counterfeit bills, and may be attracting foreign money…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Unraveling the Web of Elites Connected to Organized Crime

27 JUL 2021

InSight Crime published Elites and Organized Crime in Nicaragua, a deep dive into the relationships between criminal actors and elites in that Central American nation.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime’s Greater Focus on US-Mexico Border

20 JUL 2021

InSight Crime has decided to turn many of its investigative resources towards understanding and chronicling the criminal dynamics along the US-Mexico border.

THE ORGANIZATION

Key Arrests and Police Budget Increases Due to InSight Crime Investigations

8 JUL 2021

With Memo Fantasma’s arrest, InSight Crime has proven that our investigations can and will uncover major criminal threats in the Americas.

THE ORGANIZATION

Organized Crime’s Influence on Gender-Based Violence

30 JUN 2021

InSight Crime investigator Laura N. Ávila spoke on organized crime and gender-based violence at the launch of a research project by the United Nations Development Programme.

THE ORGANIZATION

Conversation with Paraguay Judicial Operators on PCC

24 JUN 2021

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley formed part of a panel attended by over 500 students, all of whom work in Paraguay's judicial system.