HomeNicaraguaAmauri Carmona Morelos
NICARAGUA

Amauri Carmona Morelos

AMAURI CARMONA MORELOS / LATEST UPDATE 2017-08-28 EN

Amauri Carmona Morelos, who also goes by the name Alberto Ruiz Cano and Amauri Paudd, is an alleged drug trafficker operating along Nicaragua’s Caribbean Coast. Carmona reportedly had links to the remnants of the Cali Cartel, a defunct Colombian drug trafficking organization that later morphed into the Norte del Valle Cartel (NDVC). He was captured in February 2017, and is being held in Nicaragua’s El Chipote prison.

History

Originally from San Andres, Colombia, Carmona established a fake identity as Alberto Ruiz Cano in Nicaragua. He is believed to be a second-generation drug trafficker; his father was reportedly a member of the Cali Cartel.

Amauri Carmona Morelos Factbox

DOB: 1966

Group: N/A

Criminal Activities: Drug trafficking, money laundering

Status: Captured

Area of Operation: North Atlantic Autonomous Region (Nicaragua)

Carmona reportedly once owned a nightclub in Managua that was used as a meeting point to negotiate the purchase and movement of drug shipments. The nightclub, “Mr. Sponge,” was also used to launder his criminal proceeds.

Criminal Activities

Carmona allegedly participated in a drug trafficking organization that smuggled drugs through small indigenous villages along the Caribbean coast.

Geography

His base of operations was Walpasiksa in Nicaragua’s jungle-covered North Atlantic Autonomous Region, a rural area home to many of Nicaragua’s home-grown criminal networks. He is also thought to have moved frequently between San Andres and Honduras.

Allies and Enemies

Carmona was cited in a leaked US State Department cable as having some involvement in a violent confrontation between the Walpasiksa indigenous community and Nicaragua security forces on December 8, 2009. Civilians ambushed the anti-drug unit, which arrived to the area in search of a downed drug plane, killing three naval officers and wounding another four security personnel. There have been some reports that Morelos may have ordered the civilians to carry out the attack, in order to protect the area as a base of operations for drug traffickers.

Carmona's father, identified as Fernando Melendez, was arrested a few days before this ambush on December 5, near where the drug flight had crashed. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison for drug trafficking and money laundering, but died in prison on March 17, 2012.

Prospects

Carmona was captured on February 7, 2017 under circumstances that remain mysterious. It is not clear where he was captured, but local media reports suggest he was arrested in Honduras and later handed over to Nicaraguan authorities. He is currently detained in the maximum security penitentiary of El Chipote, waiting for his trial to begin.

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

CONTRABAND / 19 JUN 2015

Nicaragua's government is facing growing calls to combat illegal livestock trafficking, an activity that frequently goes hand in hand with…

HONDURAS / 5 DEC 2013

Drug trafficking groups from Honduras are reportedly fueling violence in Nicaragua's Atlantic region through their involvement in the hijacking of…

NICARAGUA / 9 FEB 2012

Nicaragua's national police sacked 173 officers in 2011, most of them for corruption, but said that organized criminal groups had…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution Met With Uproar

6 MAY 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime launched its latest investigation, Venezuela’s Cocaine Revolution¸ accompanied by a virtual panel on its findings. The takeaways from this three-year effort, including the fact that Venezuela…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…