Nicaragua Charges Man Linked to Facundo Cabral Killing with Drug Trafficking

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A judge in Nicaragua ruled that the man who allegedly plotted the attack which killed Argentine singer Facundo Cabral will be charged in Nicaragua for drug trafficking and money laundering.

Costa Rican Alejandro Jimenez Gonzalez, alias “Palidejo,” is currently being tried in Guatemala, where Cabral was killed last year.

Besides Palidejo, the criminal court in Managua said it would prosecute another 20 people accused of running a drug trafficking network that stretched from Costa Rica to Mexico, reports EFE.

On May 27, Nicaraguan police announced they had arrested 11 of Palidejo’s associates, including a former judge who once served on Nicaragua’s electoral council.

Palidejo is accused of hiring gunmen to kill a nighclub owner who stole a cocaine shipment from him. But the hitmen killed Cabral during the attack, as Cabral was traveling in a car with the nightclub owner at the time.

InSight Crime Analysis

Palidejo is now enmeshed in legal cases in at several countries, including Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica, where he is wanted for money laundering. It is also not clear whether his name was among those that were blacked out in a US indictment issued by a New York court in 2006. This would mean Palidejo is also wanted for drug trafficking charges in the US.

Palidejo’s case points to the existence of a complex transnational network that moved cocaine from Colombia through Central America to the US. The Costa Rican was reportedly under the protection of Colombian group the Rastrojos, who likely served as one of his primary suppliers of product. He has also been linked to a Mexican drug trafficking organization with ties to the Familia Michoacana.

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