Police present Mi Sangre to Argentine press after his capture

New details have emerged about the capture of Urabeños leader Henry de Jesus Lopez, alias "Mi Sangre," in Buenos Aires, including the fact that Argentine officials had previously arrested and then released the accused drug trafficker in May.

According to the head of Colombia's judicial police (DIJIN), General Carlos Ramiro, the October 30 arrest of Mi Sangre was not the first time that the Urabeños boss had been detained in Argentina. Ramiro told Colombian press that Jesus Lopez had actually been taken into police custody in May on the basis of an Interpol notice requesting information on his whereabouts. But Argentine police had to release him because it did not yet include a warrant for his arrest.

Police intelligence officials kept tabs on him, however, placing GPS tracking devices on five of his automobiles to monitor his movement. On the day of his arrest, officials say Mi Sangre was planning on meeting with a representative of an unspecified Mexican crime syndicate. 

Subsequent reports on Mi Sangre's activities in Buenos Aires suggest that he had a high degree of mobility. El Tiempo reports that Jesus Lopez held false passports from seven different countries: ColombiaArgentina, Venezuela, Ecuador, Uruguay, Mexico and Paraguay.

InSight Crime Analysis

One question is why Mi Sangre continued to live in Argentina after his arrest in May, when he knew that officials had located him. Considering his freedom of movement, the fact that he chose not to use his false identification to relocate permanently elsewhere is puzzling. It suggests he felt safe in Argentina despite his prior arrest, perhaps believing he had an "understanding" with local authorities.

This would fit with reports of deeply-entrenched corruption among police in Argentina, a trend which has proven to be resistant to government attempts at reform. It also would confirm Argentina's emerging status as a popular hideout for Colombian drug traffickers looking to evade law enforcement.

Mi Sangre's frequent presence in Uruguay is concerning as well, as officials there have grown more concerned about the influence of foreign criminals. Uruguayan authorities believe this has led to a rise in cocaine trafficking and organized crime-related violence in the country. 

Investigations

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
Prev Next

Reign of the Kaibil: Guatemala’s Prisons Under Byron Lima

Reign of the Kaibil: Guatemala’s Prisons Under Byron Lima

Following Guatemala's long and brutal civil war, members of the military were charged, faced trial and sentenced to jail time. Even some members of a powerful elite unit known as the Kaibil were put behind bars. Among these prisoners, none were more emblematic than Captain Byron Lima...

The Lucky ‘Kingpin’: How ‘Chepe Diablo’ Has (So Far) Ridiculed Justice

The Lucky ‘Kingpin’: How ‘Chepe Diablo’ Has (So Far) Ridiculed Justice

José Adán Salazar Umaña is the only Salvadoran citizen currently on the US government's Kingpin List. But in his defense, Salazar Umaña claims is he is an honorable businessman who started his career by exchanging money along the borders between Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. He does...

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Power

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Power

  The Bajo Cauca Franchise BACRIM-Land Armed Power Dynamics The BACRIM in places like the region of Bajo Cauca are a typical manifestation of Colombia's underworld today: a semi-autonomous local cell that is part of a powerful national network. The BACRIM's roots lie in the demobilized paramilitary umbrella group the United Self-Defense...

Where Chaos Reigns: Inside the San Pedro Sula Prison

Where Chaos Reigns: Inside the San Pedro Sula Prison

In San Pedro Sula's jailhouse, chaos reigns. The inmates, trapped in their collective misery, battle for control over every inch of their tight quarters. Farm animals and guard dogs roam free and feed off scraps, which can include a human heart. Every day is visitors' day, and...

The Prison Dilemma: Latin America’s Incubators of Organized Crime

The Prison Dilemma: Latin America’s Incubators of Organized Crime

The prison system in Latin America and the Caribbean has become a prime incubator for organized crime. This overview -- the first of six reports on prison systems that we produced after a year-long investigation -- traces the origins and maps the consequences of the problem, including...

Nariño, Colombia: Ground Zero of the Cocaine Trade

Nariño, Colombia: Ground Zero of the Cocaine Trade

The department of Nariño in southwest Colombia is the main coca-producing area in the country and in the world. It is a place scarred by poverty and years of armed conflict between guerrillas, the state and paramilitary groups. Perhaps nowhere else in the country are the challenges...

Homicides in Guatemala: Collecting the Data

Homicides in Guatemala: Collecting the Data

When someone is murdered in Guatemala, police, forensic doctors and government prosecutors start making their way to the crime scene and a creaky, antiquated 20th century bureaucratic machine kicks into gear. Calls are made. Forms are filled out by hand, or typed into computers, or both. Some...

El Salvador Prisons and the Battle for the MS13’s Soul

El Salvador Prisons and the Battle for the MS13’s Soul

El Salvador's prison system is the headquarters of the country's largest gangs. It is also where one of these gangs, the MS13, is fighting amongst itself for control of the organization.

Colombia's Mirror: War and Drug Trafficking in the Prison System

Colombia's Mirror: War and Drug Trafficking in the Prison System

Colombia's prisons are a reflection of the multiple conflicts that have plagued the country for the last half-century. Paramilitaries, guerrillas and drug trafficking groups have vied for control of the jails where they can continue to manage their operations on the outside. Instead of corralling these forces...

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Murder

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Murder

  Life of a Sicario Anatomy of a Hit   The BACRIM's control over territories such as the north Colombian region of Bajo Cauca comes at the point of a gun, and death is a constant price of their power. In rural sectors, uniformed BACRIM armed with assault rifles still patrol in...