Colombian, Mexican Traffickers Offer $1M for Murder of Peruvian Prosecutor

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    Colombian and Mexican drug traffickers imprisoned in Peru offered $1 million for the assassination of a Peruvian prosecutor and three other officials, suggesting that transnational criminal organizations have the desire, and perhaps the power, to intimidate authorities in that country.

    According to La Republica, authorities intercepted phone conversations held by inmates of the prison in Trujillo, northwestern Peru, between December 13 and 15, in which they discussed a reward of $1 million for the murder of the prosecutor, two judges, and one policeman. One of the four targets has been identified in the media as Eduardo Castañeda, a Peruvian prosecutor specialized in organized crime.

    The threat is believed to be in retaliation for a November 30 operation that dismantled a cocaine laboratory south of Lima, and resulted in the arrest of five Colombians, 13 Peruvians and an Ecuadorian. The business was allegedly headed by a group of Mexican traffickers.

    InSight Crime Analysis

    Colombian trafficking gangs have historically controlled much of the Peruvian drug trade, and these reports demonstrate that they continue to have influence in the country, even as Mexican criminal organizations are increasingly present. Making a plot to kill a prosecutor means that these groups want to intimidate the authorities and subvert the rule of law, suggesting a profound ongoing interest in the country.

    The case could also suggest that the Peruvian legal system is having an impact on the operations of these Colombian and Mexican groups.

    One way the Peruvian authorities have sought to counter the growing presence of Mexican gangs is by introducing visa requirements for Mexican citizens entering the country.

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