Colombian authorities have captured Samy Echtaya Rios, who they say is a key associate of drug lord Daniel Barrera, alias “El Loco,” and maintains contacts with Mexico‘s Sinaloa Cartel.
Echtaya was captured in the southwest city of Cali, where he was reportedly hiding out from his partners, following a dispute over money. He had recently crossed the border from Ecuador.
According to police, Echtaya was one of the members of the group who was responsible for coordinating cocaine shipments up to Central America. As InSight Crime has argued, the trafficking network headed by Barrera (pictured) likely has a significant presence in Central America, despite reports that Mexican groups increasingly control the drug trade in the isthmus.
It’s not clear whether the arrest represents a serious blow to Barrera’s organization, which ships more than 100 tons of cocaine a year. If Echtaya was enmeshed in disputes with his partners, it’s possible that they betrayed him as revenge.