Perrones Cartel News

Ex-DEA Agent: US Tolerant of Central American Drug Corruption

Ex-DEA Agent: US Tolerant of Central American Drug Corruption

Former DEA agent in El Salvador Danny Dalton doesn't mince words: Central America's drug trafficking organizations would not be so well developed without the help of corrupt local authorities that have been tolerated by US governments.  

Perrones Cartel Profile

Perrones

Perrones

The Perrones are El Salvador’s most infamous transportation group. Made up of a mix of hoteliers, human smugglers, and contraband traders, the group’s activities stretch from Panama to Guatemala. Working from their eastern front, along the border with Honduras, many of them carry dual citizenship with the neighboring country, which allows them to move easily across the porous borders they use to move their products. They appear to answer offers of many suitors, mostly Colombian and Mexican groups but also Guatemalan organizations, that move large quantities of drugs and other contraband north toward the United States and bulk cash south. Many of the Perrones’ leaders have been arrested and charged with various crimes, but the cases against them have fallen apart in El Salvador’s weak justice system.

More Perrones Cartel News

  • Ex-DEA Agent: US Tolerant of Central American Drug Corruption

    Former DEA agent Danny Dalton

    Former DEA agent in El Salvador Danny Dalton doesn't mince words: Central America's drug trafficking organizations would not be so well developed without the help of corrupt local authorities that have been tolerated by US governments.  

  • El Salvador to Seize Assets of Perrones Criminal Network

    Domingo Saravia and his wife Carmelina

    A couple convicted of money laundering are set to be the first members of Salvadoran drug trafficking group the Perrones to have their assets seized, as authorities step up their campaign against one of El Salvador's premier criminal organizations.

  • Police Op Sheds Light on Ongoing Activities of El Salvador’s Perrones

    Police in El Salvador have dismantled a criminal network run by a member of the Perrones with Barrio 18 gang ties, providing insight into the continued activities of a drug trafficking group whose top leadership has largely been taken down.

  • The Corrupt Legacy of El Salvador Trafficker 'Chepe Luna'

    Chepe Luna is welcomed by family in 2012

    Drug trafficker-turned-transport tycoon "Chepe Luna," shot dead in Honduras last month, will be survived by his web of corruption, with an extensive network of collaborators in the Salvadoran state.

  • Was the Assassination of El Salvador’s 'Chepe Luna' a Criminal Hit or Just Business?

    The alleged leader of El Salvador's Los Perrones drug running group "Chepe Luna" has been assassinated in Honduras, raising questions about whether he was killed because of his business operations in the legal world or criminal activities. 

  • The Fixer and El Salvador's Missed Opportunity

    In the photograph, they are both smiling. In the foreground, on the left hand side, a man in a short-sleeved buttoned white shirt, jeans and a metal watch, holds a bottle of water in his right hand. He laughs heartily. He is Herbert Saca. On the right hand side is a man in a hat, also in a white shirt, but with a blue neckerchief. He is Juan Umaña Samayoa, a candidate for reelection for mayor of Metapan, located in the department of Santa Ana, in the west of El Salvador, for the Party of National Reconciliation. In the background, a red tent and the silhouettes of an apparently large group of people.

  • How an El Salvador Drug Trafficker Smuggled Cocaine Into the US

    The woman phoned the office of the antinarcotics division (DAN) in Bolivar, in El Salvador's La Union province, on August 13, 2008, at 1:30 PM. Investigators later established that what she told agent Javier Ramon Aguilar Ordoñez during that phone call was the story of a drug trafficking network led by Juan Maria Medrano, alias "Juan Colorado."

  • Operation Chameleon in El Salvador: Anatomy of a Failure

    The experience with Jose Natividad "Chepe" Luna -- the drug trafficker who had eluded a giant dragnet in 2004 -- had demonstrated that the leaks from the National Police of El Salvador (PNC) were continuous and, in general, all the history of the contraband in the west had an extensive element of police and district attorney collusion. With that in mind, the Special Antinarcotics Group (GEAN) decided to send the newest police to the stations of La Union and San Miguel to collect intelligence about the movement of drugs and to begin assembling cases against the transporters. Thus was born Operation Chameleon.

  • 'Chepe Luna,' the Police and the Art of Escape

     Jose Natividad Luna Pereira, alias “Chepe Luna"

    The United States -- which through its antinarcotics, judicial and police attaches was very familiar with the routes used for smuggling, and especially those used for people trafficking and understood that those traffickers are often one and the same -- greeted the new government of Elias Antonio Saca in 2004 with a proposal: take down this Chepe Luna.

  • The Infiltrators: Corruption in El Salvador's Police

    Ricardo Mauricio Menesses Orellana liked horses, and the Pasaquina rodeo was a great opportunity to enjoy a party. He was joined at the event -- which was taking place in the heart of territory controlled by El Salvador's most powerful drug transport group, the Perrones -- by the town's mayor, Hector Odir Ramirez, and the infamous drug and people trafficker Jose Natividad Luna Pereira, alias "Chepe Luna." Also present were undercover narcotics agents, who immediately recognized Menesses as the director of El Salvador's National Civil Police (PNC).

Investigations

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The Infiltrators: Corruption in El Salvador's Police

The Infiltrators: Corruption in El Salvador's Police

Ricardo Mauricio Menesses Orellana liked horses, and the Pasaquina rodeo was a great opportunity to enjoy a party. He was joined at the event -- which was taking place in the heart of territory controlled by El Salvador's most powerful drug transport group, the Perrones -- by the...

Barrio 18 Leader 'Viejo Lin' on El Salvador Gang Truce

Barrio 18 Leader 'Viejo Lin' on El Salvador Gang Truce

Barrio 18 leader Carlos Lechuga Mojica, alias "El Viejo Lin," is one of the most prominent spokesmen for El Salvador's gang truce. InSight Crime co-director Steven Dudley spoke with Mojica in Cojutepeque prison in October 2012 about how the maras view the controversial peace process, which has...

The Reality of the FARC Peace Talks in Havana

The Reality of the FARC Peace Talks in Havana

If we are to believe the Colombian government, the question is not if, but rather when, an end to 50 years of civil conflict will be reached. Yet the promise of President Juan Manuel Santos that peace can be achieved before the end of 2014 is simply...

Criminalization of FARC Elements Inevitable

Criminalization of FARC Elements Inevitable

While there is no doubt that the FARC have only a tenuous control over some of their more remote fronts, there is no evidence of any overt dissident faction within the movement at the moment.

The FARC 2002-Present: Decapitation and Rebirth

The FARC 2002-Present: Decapitation and Rebirth

In August 2002, the guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) greeted Colombia's new president with a mortar attack that killed 14 people during his inauguration. The attack was intended as a warning to the fiercely anti-FARC newcomer. But it became the opening salvo of...

The FARC and the Drug Trade: Siamese Twins?

The FARC and the Drug Trade: Siamese Twins?

The FARC have always had a love-hate relationship with drugs. They love the money it brings, funds which have allowed them to survive and even threaten to topple the state at the end of the 1990s. They hate the corruption and stigma narcotics have also brought to...

'Chepe Luna,' the Police and the Art of Escape

'Chepe Luna,' the Police and the Art of Escape

The United States -- which through its antinarcotics, judicial and police attaches was very familiar with the routes used for smuggling, and especially those used for people trafficking and understood that those traffickers are often one and the same -- greeted the new government of Elias Antonio...

MS-13's 'El Barney': A Trend or an Isolated Case?

MS-13's 'El Barney': A Trend or an Isolated Case?

In October 2012, the US Treasury Department designated the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) as a transnational criminal organization (TCO). While this assertion seems unfounded, there is one case that illustrates just why the US government is worried about the future.

Ivan Rios Bloc: the FARC's Most Vulnerable Fighting Division

Ivan Rios Bloc: the FARC's Most Vulnerable Fighting Division

When considering the possibilities that the FARC may break apart, the Ivan Rios Bloc is a helpful case study because it is perhaps the weakest of the FARC's divisions in terms of command and control, and therefore runs the highest risk of fragmentation and criminalization.

The FARC 1964-2002: From Ragged Rebellion to Military Machine

The FARC 1964-2002: From Ragged Rebellion to Military Machine

On May 27, 1964 up to one thousand Colombian soldiers, backed by fighter planes and helicopters, launched an assault against less than fifty guerrillas in the tiny community of Marquetalia. The aim of the operation was to stamp out once and for all the communist threat in...