HomeNewsBriefTop Urabeños Hit Man Captured in Spain
BRIEF

Top Urabeños Hit Man Captured in Spain

COCAINE EUROPE / 18 DEC 2014 BY DAVID GAGNE EN

An alleged high-ranking member of Colombia's most powerful criminal group, the Urabeños, was recently captured in Spain, which may be a sign of increasing competition for European drug markets between the heavyweights of Latin America's underworld.

An alleged leader of an Urabeños hit squad, Victor Alfonso Mosquera Perez, alias "Palomo," was captured on December 12 in an upscale neighborhood in Madrid in a joint operation between the US anti-drug agency DEA and the Spanish civil police, reported El Colombiano. 

Mosquera began travelling to Spain six months ago on the orders of the Urabeños top commander, Dario Antonio Usuga, alias "Otoniel," to carry out "ajustes de cuentas," or assassinations of members of rival drug trafficking groups, reported El Espectador. 

One year ago, Mosquera had agreed to give information on drug routes and the Urabeños top leadership to the DEA; however, he fled during the negotiations and has been wanted by US authorities ever since, reported El Tiempo.

Spanish authorities have yet to decide whether Mosquera will be extradited to Colombia or the United States, where he allegedly trafficked over one ton of cocaine into the country between 2010 and 2013, reported El Tiempo.

InSight Crime Analysis

The fact that Otoniel sent a high-level hit man to Spain to carry out assassinations against rival drug trafficking groups could suggest competition for trafficking routes in the country are heating up. Colombians have long dominated the cocaine trade in Spain, and Spanish police told InSight Crime Colombians have set up between 12 to 20 "oficinas de cobro," which serve as unofficial arbiters of the drug trade, in the country.

However, reports from early 2014 indicate three Mexican criminal organizations -- the Sinaloa Cartel, the Zetas, and the Knights Templar -- now have a presence in Spain, with the end goal of pushing out the Colombians and using Spain as a springboard for trafficking operations throughout Europe. While there is little indication this has taken place yet, the seizure of a record amount of Mexican-sourced methamphetamine in Spain provides further hint that criminal groups other than Colombians have an increased ability to move drugs through the country. 

SEE ALSO: Coverage of European Organized Crime

Given the sustained security crackdowns in both Mexico and Colombia as well as the substantially higher wholesale price of cocaine in Europe than even in the United States, it is unsurprising Latin American criminal groups are looking to increase their drug trafficking presence in Spain and other parts of the continent to take advantage of the higher margins.

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 MAR 2022

Almost a year after the use of landmines was first reported in Venezuela, their deployment now appears a routine tactic…

COLOMBIA / 21 JUL 2022

Videos showing an ex-FARC Mafia group patrolling Tibú, Colombia, demonstrate the state’s weakening grip on the Catatumbo subregion.

COCAINE / 26 MAY 2021

A Turkish mafia boss has claimed cocaine is being trafficked directly from Venezuela to Turkey in a viral video, pointing…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Escaping Barrio 18

27 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an investigation charting the story of Desafío, a 28-year-old Barrio 18 gang member who is desperate to escape gang life. But there’s one problem: he’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

Europe Coverage Makes a Splash

20 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an analysis of the role of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as an arrival hub for cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico.  The article was picked up by…

THE ORGANIZATION

World Looks to InSight Crime for Mexico Expertise

13 JAN 2023

Our coverage of the arrest of Chapitos’ co-founder Ovidio Guzmán López in Mexico has received worldwide attention.In the UK, outlets including The Independent and BBC…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Shares Expertise with US State Department

16 DEC 2022

Last week, InSight Crime Co-founder Steven Dudley took part in the International Anti-Corruption Conference organized by the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Immediate Response to US-Mexico Marijuana Investigation

9 DEC 2022

InSight Crime’s investigation into how the legalization of marijuana in many US states has changed Mexico’s criminal dynamics made a splash this week appearing on the front page of…