• Connect with us on Linkedin

Colombian 'Narco-Wives' Arrested in Argentina

Argentine authorities have dismantled a drug trafficking ring which allegedly involved the ex-wives of two major Colombian drug traffickers, underscoring the importance of Argentina as a location for foreign gang leaders.

Linkedin
Google +

On April 13, police in Buenos Aires province arrested Maria Claudia Gomez, ex-wife of the deceased Pedro Oliveiro Guerrero, alias "Cuchillo," (pictured left) along with Ruth Martinez, ex-wife of Daniel "El Loco" Barrera, (pictured right). Both were detained in Nordelta gated community in the north east of the province, accused of belonging to an international drug trafficking ring that sent cocaine from Argentina to Spain, reports Argentinian news site Perfil.

The operation, named "Louis XV" because the group allegedly used antique furniture to smuggle drugs, also led to the arrest of 23 others (nine Colombians, two Spanish and 12 Argentines) along with the seizure of 280 kilos of cocaine, reports Clarin.

The group reportedly had ties to Ignacio Alvarez Meyendorff, an alleged ex-member of the Norte del Valle cartel arrested in Buenos Aires last year and thought to be linked to Barrera, and Alejandro Gracia Alvarez, the focus of police investigations into the smuggling ring.

InSight Crime Analysis

The alleged dealings between Gomez and Martinez can perhaps be traced to the alliance between their former husbands. Barrera, one of the largest traffickers in Colombia, long had ties to the Popular Revolutionary Anti-Terrorist Army of Colombia (ERPAC) in the country's Eastern Plains prior to the group's "demobilization" in December last year. Despite being estranged from their partners, the two women appear to have continued this alliance.

More importantly, the operation once again draws attention to Argentina as a potential haven for Colombian traffickers. The most infamous example of this came when Hector Edilson Duque Ceballos, alias “Monoteto,” a top member of the Cordillera Cartel, was shot and killed in Buenos Aires in 2008. One of the current leaders of the Urabeños, Henry de Jesus Lopez, alias "Mi Sangre," is also reported to have spent time in Argentina between 2007 and 2008, laying low due to rivalry with criminal organizations in his home country.

Most recently, rival leaders of the Medellin-based Oficina de Envigado, the now-captured Maximiliano Bonilla Orozco, alias “Valenciano,” and Erick Vargas Cardenas, alias "Sebastian," were reported to have traveled to the Argentine city of Rosario in September last year to negotiate a truce between their warring factions.

Argentina is attractive to drug trafficking bosses for two reasons. One, many face intense pressure in their home countries, forcing them to choose somewhere else to operate from for short periods. Secondly, Argentina serves as a principal transit route for cocaine on its way to Europe, making the country strategically important for transnational criminal organizations.

Linkedin
Google +

---

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We also encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, provided that it is attributed to InSight Crime in the byline, with a link 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.

InSight Crime Search

The Complete Organized Crime Database on the Americas

InSight Crime Social

facebooktwittergooglelinkedin

InSight Crime Special Series

The Zetas in Nuevo Laredo

Los Zetas in Nuevo Laredo

After the capture of Zetas boss "Z40," Nuevo Laredo is bracing itself for the worst. This investigation breaks down what makes the city such an important trafficking corridor, and what it will take for the Zetas to maintain their grip on the city.

See entire series »

 

Uruguay's Marijuana Bill

Uruguay: Marijuana, Organized Crime and the Politics of Drugs

Uruguay is poised to become the first country on the planet to regulate the production, sale, and distribution of the drug.

See entire series »

El Salvador's Gang Truce

El Salvador's Gang Truce

The truce between El Salvador's two largest gangs -- the MS-13 and the Barrio 18 -- opens up new possibilities in how to deal with

See entire series »

Juarez After The War

Juarez After The War

As a bitter war between rival cartels grinds to an end, Ciudad Juarez has lost the title of world murder capital, and is moving towards something more like normality.

See entire series »

The Zetas And The Battle For Monterrey

The Zetas and the Battle for Monterrey

InSight Crime delves into the Zetas' battle for Mexico’s industrial capital, Monterrey, getting to the essence of a criminal gang that defies easy definition.

See entire series »

Slavery in Latin America

Slavery in Latin America

InSight Crime coordinated an investigation into modern slavery, looking at how Latin America’s criminal groups traffic human beings and force them to work as slaves.

See entire series »

FARC, Peace and Criminalization

FARC, Peace and Possible Criminalization

The possibility of ending nearly 50 years of civil conflict is being dangled before Colombia. While the vast majority of the Colombian public want to see peace, the enemies of the negotiations appear to be strong, and the risks inherent in the process are high.

See entire series »

Displacement in Latin America

Displacement in Latin America

InSight Crime coordinated an investigation into the new face of displacement in Latin America, where organized criminal groups are expanding and forcing people to flee.

See entire series »

Target: Migrants

Target: Migrants

The growth of organized crime in Mexico and Central America has led to an increase in violence and insecurity across the region, posing challenges to citizens, public security forces, and travelers.

See entire series »

Zetas in Guatemala

The Zetas in Guatemala

Mexico's Zetas have taken Guatemala by storm, and they are testing this country and the rest of the region: fail this test, and Central America sinks deeper into the abyss.

See entire series »

Most Read

Guyana May be Placed on Money Laundering Blacklist Amid Rise in Organized Crime

Guyana May be Placed on Money Laundering Blacklist Amid Rise in Organized Crime

Guyana is at risk of being placed on an international money laundering black list after the government failed to pass relevant legislation, even as organized crime in this remote South American nation is on the...

Read more

HSBC, Shell Implicated in Argentina Money Laundering Scandal

HSBC, Shell Implicated in Argentina Money Laundering Scandal

Authorities in Argentina have warned of possible money laundering by HSBC bank in a case involving Anglo-Dutch oil and gas company Shell -- the latest in a long line of accusations of the bank's involvement in...

Read more

Are Venezuela Police 'Intelligent Patrols' Reducing Crime as Govt Claims?

Are Venezuela Police 'Intelligent Patrols' Reducing Crime as Govt Claims?

Authorities in Venezuela say the country's "Intelligent Patrolling" policing program has led to a nearly 18 percent drop in crime, but under-reporting of crime and the government's politicized use of statistics cast doubt over the...

Read more

IDRC9-01