HomeNewsBriefColombian Drug Gang the Rastrojos Face US Sanctions
BRIEF

Colombian Drug Gang the Rastrojos Face US Sanctions

COLOMBIA / 31 JAN 2013 BY JAMES BARGENT EN

The US government has placed sanctions on Colombian drug gang the Rastrojos, including one of its top leaders who was captured last year, suggesting the United States is preparing to target the weakened group’s financial assets.   

The US Treasury Department designated Diego Perez Henao, alias "Diego Rastrojo," along with his Rastrojos organization, as "Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers" under the terms of the Kingpin Act. As a result, US citizens are banned from conducting business with its members, and any of the group's assets under US jurisdiction will be frozen.

The Rastrojos, which emerged from the ranks of the now defunct Norte del Valle cartel, have been among the main players in the Colombian underworld for several years. Until his capture in Venezuela last year, Diego Rastrojo was the group's military chief.

According to the Treasury’s press release: Diego Rastrojo was "the main source of supply for numerous multi-ton loads of cocaine smuggled into the US, owning and coordinating airborne and maritime cocaine shipments destined for the US through Venezuela to Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico."

The Rastrojos' two other main leaders, Javier Antonio Calle Serna, alias "Comba," and his brother Luis Enrique Calle Serna, both surrendered to US authorities last year.

InSight Crime Analysis

The Rastrojos emerged as an independent drug trafficking group during the protracted break-up of the Norte del Valle Cartel in the period 2007-2009, and became one of Colombia’s most powerful drug trafficking organizations.

In some ways it is surprising the Treasury is only acting now, when the group is in disarray, lacking centralized leadership and fending off attacks from rivals the Urabeños. However, it is possible the Treasury designation is based on information offered by the Calle Serna brothers since their surrender.

If so, this could be a sign the Rastrojos will soon face a legal attack on its remaining leadership figures and financial assets, an assault that the already weakened and fracturing group is ill-equipped to withstand.

Rastrojos

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 / 18 MAY 2021

The killing of a notorious Colombian dissident guerrilla leader on Venezuelan soil has the potential to destabilize underworld dynamics in…

COLOMBIA / 29 MAR 2022

A record cocaine seizure off the coast of Colombia’s San Andres is the latest in a string of million-dollar drug…

BRAZIL / 11 JAN 2021

Within the span of a week, cocaine was discovered in two separate maritime cargo containers bound for Libya, a strong…

About InSight Crime

WORK WITH US

Open Position: Full Stack WordPress Developer

28 NOV 2022

As Full Stack WordPress Developer You Will: Work collaboratively with other developers and designers to maintain and improve organizational standards.Demonstrate a high level of attention to detail, and implement best…

THE ORGANIZATION

Join Us This #GivingTuesday in Exposing Organized Crime

24 NOV 2022

For over twelve years, InSight Crime has contributed to the global dialogue on organized crime and corruption. Our work has provided policymakers, analysts, academics, journalists, and the general public with…

THE ORGANIZATION

Like Crime, Our Coverage Knows No Borders

18 NOV 2022

The nature of global organized crime means that while InSight Crime focuses on Latin America, we also follow criminal dynamics worldwide. InSight Crime investigator Alessandro Ford covers the connections between Latin American and European…

THE ORGANIZATION

Using Data to Expose Crime

11 NOV 2022

Co-director Jeremy McDermott made a virtual presentation at a conference hosted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The ‘Sixth International Conference on Governance, Crime, and Justice…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime ON AIR

4 NOV 2022

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley was interviewed for the podcast The Rosenberg Case: A Tale of Murder, Corruption, and Conspiracy in Guatemala, which explores the potential involvement of then president, Álvaro Colom,…