HomeNewsBriefRastrojos Leader Running Gang from Prison: Report
BRIEF

Rastrojos Leader Running Gang from Prison: Report

COLOMBIA / 10 OCT 2012 BY CLAIRE O NEILL MCCLESKEY EN

A captured leader of the Rastrojos drug gang, “Diego Rastrojo,” is reportedly still running the gang’s illegal activities from the prison where he is awaiting extradition to the US, relying on corrupt officials for access to the outside world.

Since his arrest in Venezuela on June 3, Diego Perez Henao, alias “Diego Rastrojo,” has continued to oversee the Rastrojos’ operations from his cell in La Picota maximum security prison in Bogota, reported Caracol Radio, citing anonymous “foreign intelligence” sources.

Perez reportedly conducts his illicit activities via two Blackberry phones which he purchased from prison guards at a price of 5 million pesos each (around US $2,800). Every two weeks the phones are allegedly replaced by officials for the same fee. Perez is also said to pay for prostitutes and alcohol multiples times a week, according to Caracol Radio.

The foreign intelligence sources cited by Caracol reportedly consider Perez “practically as active and dangerous” now as when he was free, due to his ability to give direct orders to his lieutenants.  According to Semana, video recordings show Perez receiving frequent visits from people passing themselves off as either lawyers or family members.

InSight Crime Analysis

La Picota is known for prisoner escapes and offering special treatment to powerful inmates. Daniel Rendon Herrera, alias “Don Mario,” is believed to still run the Urabeños from his cell in La Picota, while earlier this month, Erick Vargas Cardona, alias “Sebastian,” was transferred from La Picota to the maximum security prison of Combita in Boyaca province due to reports that he was continuing to lead the Oficina de Envigado gang from behind bars.

Diego Rastrojo is the last of the main Rastrojos leaders left in Colombia after Javier Calle Serna and his brother, Luis Enrique, handed themselves over to US authorities in May and October respectively. The fall of the three leaders left open the question of who would fill the leadership void, though it appears Diego Rastrojo may still be firmly in command, for now.

Compartir icon icon icon

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.

Related Content

CARACHO / 31 DEC 2010

A chart (pdf) released by Colombian Police identifies the remaining levels of the drug-smuggling group the Popular Revolutionary…

COVID AND CRIME / 12 MAY 2020

In mid-March, alarms were being raised about how vulnerable Venezuelan prisoners were to the spread of the coronavirus and the…

CARTEL DE LOS SOLES / 28 AUG 2015

Speculation has emerged that Venezuela's unilateral shutdown of its border with Colombia is intended to discourage the extradition of two…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…