• Connect with us on Linkedin

Spain Arrests Colombian 'Hitmen' Linked to Rastrojos, Sinaloa Cartel

Weapons seized from Colombian "hitman ring" Weapons seized from Colombian "hitman ring"

Spanish police have dismantled an alleged network of Colombian hitmen in a case that highlights the foothold that Colombian criminal groups retain in the country -- and the growing influence of Mexican cartels.

Linkedin
Google +

Police announced the capture of seven members of a collection "office," who worked on behalf of Colombian drug traffickers, allegedly beating, kidnapping or murdering those who owed the traffickers money, reported El Pais. The arrests followed a 16-month investigation by the Spanish authorities.

The alleged leader of the gang, Luis David Garcia, alias "El Conejo," has previously been linked to a criminal group known as "Los Señores del Acido" (The Lords of Acid) because of their alleged habit of dissolving their victims in acid, reported 20 minutos.

The Señores del Acido were known to have worked closely with the Calle Serna brothers -- Colombian traffickers who were key figures in the Norte del Valle Cartel and its successors the Rastrojos -- a connection that El Conejo is believed to have maintained.

Police arrested the seven gang members on weapons charges, after catching them in possession of an arsenal that included five rifles, two AK-47s, pistols with silencers, two shotguns and an anti-tank grenade launcher. According to the police, the gang intended to transfer the weapons to Mexican traffickers, linked to the Sinaloa Cartel, for use in an attack on their debtors, reported 20 Minutos.

InSight Crime

The Rastrojos' presence in Europe has until now bucked the trend of Colombian organizations ceding trafficking routes to the increasingly powerful Mexican cartels, and the group has retained a significant presence in the European country. However, this may not be the case for long.

Over the last year, the Rastrojos has been in disarray; all its top leaders have been arrested or surrendered, while the remnants of the group have been struggling to combat the advances of rivals the Urabeños in key strategic areas, especially in their heartland in Valle del Cauca province.

From the information provided by the police, it appears El Conejo and his gang had close ties to the Rastrojos, but, with the fracturing of the organization, were looking elsewhere for new contracts -- including Mexican cartels.

This scenario fits the analysis of European police force Europol, which in its 2012 report on drugs and trafficking in Europe, identified Colombian organizations as the only Latin American criminal groups to have a significant presence in Europe beyond simple trafficking connections, but warned of the growing presence of Mexican cartels.

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

Few Escape Extortion in Medellin, Colombia

Few Escape Extortion in Medellin, Colombia

According to a Colombian business federation, 90 percent of small business owners in the Medellin area are victims of extortion, a figure that underscores both the prevalence of the crime and its enormous economic impact.

Read more

Closer to Global Drug Policy Reform? Not So Fast

Closer to Global Drug Policy Reform? Not So Fast

A report by a panel of high-profile political figures states that the taboo around discussing new approaches to drug regulation has been broken. But while alternative drug policy advocates have enjoyed significant victories in the past...

Read more

Did Narco-Linked El Salvador Congressman Plan Hit on Top Prosecutor?

Did Narco-Linked El Salvador Congressman Plan Hit on Top Prosecutor?

El Salvador's attorney general has accused a congressman of plotting his murder, adding a new twist to an ongoing case that has exposed alleged close ties between the legislator and a major drug trafficking network.

Read more

Latest Criminal Profile