Who Are the Urabeños Leaders Indicted by the US?

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The United States has unsealed indictments against over a dozen alleged leaders of the Urabeños, a clear sign the US government is committed to dismantling the most powerful criminal organization left standing in Colombia.

On June 23, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced 17 alleged leaders and associates of the Urabeños have been indicted by the US District Courts in Miami and Brooklyn, New York. (See below for a short profile of each of the alleged Urabeños found in the US indictments. Some of those listed were mentioned in previously unsealed indictments included in the DOJ press release.)

Six of the suspects were charged in both Miami and Brooklyn, including Dario Antonio Usuga, alias “Otoniel,” the alleged head of the Urabeños and Colombia’s most wanted man. The Southern District of New York had previously indicted Otoniel in 2009. The US Department of State has issued a $5 million reward for information leading to Otoniel’s arrest.

Many of the other prominent figures associated with the Urabeños were named in the indictments as well, including Daniel Rendon Herrera, alias “Don Mario,” the founder of the criminal group who is currently in Colombian custody awaiting extradition to the United States. Several of the other indicted Urabeños members are also already in prison, such as Henry de Jesus Lopez, alias “Mi Sangre,” who was captured in Argentina in 2012. 

SEE ALSO: Urabeños News and Profile

The alleged Urabeños members are formally charged with operating a criminal enterprise, international cocaine trafficking, and the use of firearms in order to conduct drug trafficking activities.

The Urabeños are considered the biggest drug trafficking organization in Colombia, and the last BACRIM (from the Spanish acronym for “bandas criminales”) to maintain a national reach. Colombia’s anti-narcotics police say the criminal group is capable of trafficking up to 2,000 kilos of cocaine per week to the United States and Europe.

InSight Crime Analysis

The indictments show the US government has set its sights squarely on the Urabeños, now that Colombia’s other major BACRIM, such as the Rastrojos, have fallen into decline. The DOJ called the move a “coordinated strike against Colombia’s largest and most influential” drug trafficking organization. 

The pressure on the Urabeños is mounting from both international law enforcement as well as Colombian security forces. Colombia has deployed over 1,000 military and police officials to the northwest region of Uraba, the Urabeños’ heartland, with the goal of capturing Otoniel and other leaders of the criminal organization.

Despite this offensive against the Urabeños, the criminal network maintains a series of small cells, or “nodes,” that operate throughout the country. Colombian authorities report the Urabeños count close to 3,000 operatives within their ranks, as well as another 1,000 individuals who carry out criminal activities on their behalf. 

Alleged Urabeños Members Indicted by the United States

 15-06-24-Colombia-Dario-Otoniel

Name: Dario Antonio Usuga

Alias: “Otoniel,” “Mao,” “Mauricio,” “Gallo,” “Mauricio Gallo”

Role in the Urabeños: Maximum leader

Status: At large

Indictment: New York (10 other people named), Florida (8 other people named)

 

15-06-24-Rendon-Herrera-Colombia

Name: Daniel Rendon Herrera

Alias:  “Don Mario”

Role in the Urabeños:  Founder

Status: Captured

Indictment: New York

 

15-06-24-Colombia-RobertoVargasGutierrez

Name: Roberto Vargas Gutierrez

Alias: “Gavilan”

Role in the Urabeños: Commander, drug tax collector, manages armed combatants, controls specific territorial areas in Colombia

Status: At large

Indictment: New York (10 other people named), Florida (8 other people named)

 

15-06-24-Lopez Londono-Colombia

Name: Henry De Jesus Lopez

Alias:  “Mi Sangre,” “Salvador,” “Carlos Mario,” “Brother,” “Krackin,” “Federico”

Role in the Urabeños: Leader

Status: Captured

Indictment: Florida

 

15-06-24-Colombia-CarlosAlbertoMorenoTuberquia

Name: Carlos Alberto Moreno Tuberquia

Alias: “Nicolas”

Role in the Urabeños: Commander, oversees drug trafficking in the Gulf of Uraba and the expansion of the Urabeños

Status: At large

Indictment: New York, Florida

 

15-06-24-Colombia-AristidesManuelMesaPaez

Name: Aristides Manuel Mesa Paez

Alias: “El Indio”

Role in the Urabeños: Commander, drug tax collector, manages armed combatants, controls specific territorial areas in Colombia

Status: At large

Indictment: New York, Florida

 

15-06-24-Colombia-CesarDanielAnayaMartinez

Name: Cesar Daniel Anaya Martinez

Alias: “Tierra”

Role in the Urabeños: Commander, controlled drug trafficking routes in Uraba and maintained contacts with corrupt public officials

Status: Captured

Indictment: New York, Florida

 

15-06-24-Colombia-LuisOrlandoPadiernaPena

Name: Luis Orlando Padierna Pena

Alias: “Inglaterra”

Role in the Urabeños: Commander

Status: At large

Indictment: New York

 

15-06-24-Guterrez-Rendon-Colombia

Name: Orlando Gutierrez Rendon

Alias: “El Negro,” “El Negro Orlando”

Role in the Urabeños: Drug tax collector

Status: Captured

Indictment: New York

 

15-06-24-Araujo-Colombia

Name: Gustavo Palomino Araujo

Alias:  “Camilo”

Role in the Urabeños: Leader of drug collection office and paramilitary group aligned with the Urabeños

Status: Captured

Indictment: New York

 

15-06-24-Colombia-SinFoto

Name: Eduardo Fernando Cardoza Giraldo

Alias:  “Boliqueso”

Role in the Urabeños: Leader of drug collection office and paramilitary group aligned with the Urabeños

Status: Unknown

Indictment: New York  

 

15-06-24-Perez-Restrepo-Colombia

Name: Andres Fernandez Perez-Restrepo

Alias:  “Anthrax,” “Babynarco”

Role in the Urabeños: Leader of an allied criminal group in the Gulf of Morrosquillo

Status: Captured

Indictment: Miami

 15-06-24-Mosquera-Colombia

Name: Victor Alfonso Mosquera Perez

Alias: “Palomo,” “Negro”

Role in the Urabeños: Leader of hit squad

Status: Captured

Indictment: Miami

 

15-06-24-Colombia-Jairo-Restrepo

Name: Jairo De Jesus Durango Restrepo

Alias: “Guagua”

Role in the Urabeños: Commander

Status: At large

Indictment: New York

 

15-06-24-Alvarado-Colombia

Name: Alverio Feo Alvarado

Alias: “Benavides,” “Doble B,” “Jeronimo,” Hacienda,” “Costeño,” “Pariente”

Role in the Urabeños: Political boss

Status: Captured

Indictment: Miami

 

15-06-24-Pulgarin-Ganan-Colombia

Name: Oscar David Pulgarin Gañan

Alias: “Senor de los Caballos,” “Niño,” “Coroso”

Role in the Urabeños: Commander

Status: At large

Indictment: Miami

 

15-06-24-Colombia-SinFoto

Name: Eduardo Luis Vargas Gutierrez

Alias: “Pipon”

Role in the Urabeños: Commander, key to moving drug shipments

Status: At large

Indictment: Miami

 

15-06-24-Giraldo-Usuga-Colombia

Name: Jhon Fernando Giraldo Usuga

Alias: “Simon”

Role in the Urabeños: Commander

Status: Captured

Indictment: Miami

 

15-06-24-Usuga-Torres-Colombia

Name: Arley Usuga Torres

Alias: “07,” “Siete,” “Samuel”

Role in the Urabeños: Commander

Status: Captured

Indictment: Miami

 

15-06-24-Colombia-SinFoto

Name: Jose Carlos Londono Robledo

Alias: “Tito,” “Wolverine”

Role in the Urabeños: Leader

Status: Unknown

Indictment: Miami

 

15-06-24-Gomez-Molina-Colombia

Name: Edison Gomez Molina

Alias: “El Doctor”

Role in the Urabeños: Accountant

Status: Captured

Indictment: Florida

 

15-06-24-Colombia-SinFoto

Name: Juan Diego Giraldo Usuga

Alias:  “Menor,” “Camilo”

Role in the Urabeños: Drug trafficker

Status: Captured

Indictment: Florida

 

15-06-24-Colombia-Grajales

Name: Jhoni Alberto Grajales

Alias: “Guajiro”

Role in the Urabeños: Leader of drug collection offices and allied paramilitary groups

Status: Unknown

Indictment: New York

 

15-06-25-Colombia-Jobanis

Name: Jobanis de Jesus Avila Villadiego

Alias: “Chiquito,” “Chiquito Malo”  

Role in the Urabeños: Commander

Status: Unknown

Indictment: New York

 

15-06-24-Colombia-SinFoto

Name: Ramiro Caro Pineda

Alias: “Nolasco”

Role in the Urabeños: Commander, leader for charging drug taxes and coordinating drug shipments, managed air strips and ports along Colombian coast  

Status: Unknown

Indictment: New YorkFlorida

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