HomeNewsBriefAre Urabeños Looking to Control Routes through Spain?
BRIEF

Are Urabeños Looking to Control Routes through Spain?

COLOMBIA / 11 NOV 2013 BY MIRIAM WELLS EN

An alleged leader of Colombia’s major criminal gang, the Urabeños, has been captured in Spain, suggesting the expansionist group is attempting to set up international networks, further displacing its rivals, the Rastrojos.

Carlos Andreas Palencia Gonzalez, alias “Visaje,” was arrested while taking the trash out of an apartment in Madrid. He had already spent 15 days fleeing police on a journey that took him through Venezuela and Brazil, reported a regional paper in Cordoba, Gonzalez’s home state in Colombia.

Accused of multiple homicides, drug trafficking, forced displacement and extortion in Colombia, Gonzalez was arrested following a joint operation between Colombian and Spanish police, reported La FM. He had arrived in Spain with the intention of setting up new drug trafficking routes, said the radio report.

SEE ALSO: Urabeños News and Profiles 

According to Spanish newspaper ABC, Palencia had also planned to set up a “collections office,” or “oficina de cobro” — an organization that runs extortion and debt collection with assassins used as “enforcers.”

Extradition proceedings to return Palencia to Colombia and face trial were already underway, reported La Vanguardia.

InSight Crime Analysis

While Colombian criminal groups operating in Spain is not new, over the years they have gradually ceded that territory to Mexican cartels, with the possible exception of the Urabeños principal rivals, the Rastrojos. The Rastrojos are known to maintain a presence in Spain; various alleged representatives of the group accused of running collection offices and drug trafficking have been arrested there over the years.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of the Rastrojos

The Urabeños are known for their aggressive expansion within Colombia, which has seen them gain control of many of the country’s major cocaine export points in brutal turf wars in recent years. Gonzalez’s capture suggests the group is now looking to pursue that model internationally.

It comes soon after another sign the group is trying to gain control of the Rastrojos’ international operations. Following the seizure of four tons of cocaine in the Ecuador port city of Guayaquil — an exit point historically controlled by the Rastrojos — authorities said the shipment belonged to the Urabeños.

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

COLOMBIA / 18 MAY 2020

The US and Colombia's strategic alliance may seem stronger than ever after Washington blacklisted Cuba for refusing to extradite ELN…

COLOMBIA / 3 DEC 2019

The US court case of Horacio Triana, known as Colombia's "emerald czar," will focus on drug trafficking charges and is…

COCA / 3 NOV 2017

Colombia and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) signed an agreement to cooperate on the Andean nation's…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Strategic Communications Manager Job Description

12 FEB 2021

InSight Crime is looking for a full-time strategic communications manager. This person needs to be able to work in a fast-paced world of daily news, high-profile investigations, national and international…

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. …