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Reñazcos

Based primarily in Nicaragua's South Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAS), the Reñazco family is active primarily in this department’s capital, Bluefields, as well as San Juan del Norte in the Rio San Juan department. The family is believed to move cocaine shipments along Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast and provide other services to international trafficking groups, such as refueling the go-fast boats that move drug shipments northwards.

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The Reñazcos first came into the public eye when the group was linked to a massacre of four police officers in Bluefields in May 2004. The family was accused of hiring six assassins, including a Colombian and several former police officers, to kill law enforcement agents Juan José Fúnez, Ruth González, Roger Ernesto Villachica and Johnny Dometz. The slain police were mostly likely seen as hindering drug shipments along the Caribbean coast. The Reñazcos have denied these accusations.

The head of the family is Miguel Angel Reñazco, imprisoned on drug trafficking charges until June 2, 2004, when he was apparently released for good behavior. It is believed that he is now based in either Costa Rica or Colombia. Other members of the family include Marcos Reñazco Padilla, José Ángel Padilla y Carlos Alberto Padilla Reñazco, who were captured in 2005 for smuggling drugs along the Rio San Juan, and who were wanted on charges of plotting the police massacre in Bluefields. In 2008, the three detainees were absolved and set free.

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