Tag: Colombia Personalities
Walter Patricio Arizala, alias “Guacho,” was one of the most wanted criminals in both Colombia and Ecuador, after military forces made him a priority target. Guacho led the dissident members of the Oliver Sinisterra Front of what used to be the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia – FARC).
José Bayron Piedrahita Ceballos is presumed to be one of the biggest drug lords in Colombia. During his criminal career spanning more than 20 years, Piedrahita managed to stay out of the authorities’ spotlight and consolidate his power. Though Piedrahita Ceballos was surrounded by well-renowned capos, he managed to conceal his illegal activities thanks his façade as a successful rancher and businessman. His businesses -- like the Cattle Auction of Caucausia, Del Cauca Refrigeration, and the Contadora Rice Company -- were some of the biggest job creators in Colombia’s Bajo Cauca region in the Western department of Antioqueño. It’s likely that Piedrahita Ceballos was extremely well-connected in the political sphere -- despite his obvious links to drug trafficking, he has never stood trial in Colombia.
Miguel Botache Santillana, better known as "Gentil Duarte," is currently Colombia's most wanted criminal. He used to be an important leader within the FARC-EP (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia—Ejército del Pueblo), but at the end of 2016 he became one of the dissidents of the peace process between the rebel group and the Colombian government. As it stands, he controls part of the drug trafficking route in the southeast of the country and maintains ties with dissident groups and international criminal organizations with the aim of selling cocaine in neighboring countries. Gentil is one of the principal actors in Colombia's new criminal dynamic.
Géner García Molina, better known as "Jhon 40," is the one who connects the cocaine that leaves southern Colombia with its buyers in Venezuela. If there is one example of the transformation the FARC-EP’s structure suffered due to its immersion in the drug trafficking business, it is Jhon 40.
Nestor Gregorio Vera Fernández, alias “Iván Mordisco,” is currently one of southern Colombia’s principal criminals. Until 2016 he served as commander of the FARC’s 1st Front—also known as “Armando Ríos”—but in June of that year, he became the first commander to leave the peace process between the rebel group and the Colombian government to become a dissident. His power currently lies in commanding the dissenters from the 1st Front, comprised of approximately 400 members and with a presence in the departments of Guaviare, Vaupés and Vichada.
Óscar Mauricio Pachón, alias “Puntilla,” is a drug trafficker who controlled a criminal network descended from paramilitaries in Colombia’s strategic Eastern Plains region. He was arrested in February 2016 but was released in April 2017 under suspicious circumstances, and is currently on the run.
Martin Farfan Diaz Gonzalez, alias "Pijarbey" was a powerful criminal operative in Colombia's Eastern Plains region. He was the leader of the Libertadores del Vichada, a splinter group of the Popular Revolutionary Anti-Terrorist Army of Colombia (ERPAC) that is dedicated to drug cultivation, processing, and trafficking, as well as hired assassinations. Pijarbey was one of Colombia's most wanted drug traffickers before his death in September 2015.
Marcos de Jesus Figueroa Garcia, alias "Marquitos," is a powerful underworld figure in Colombia's northeast provinces of La Guajira and Cesar, whose reach extends deep into the region's political establishment. He built his criminal network around smuggling drugs and contraband gasoline between Venezuela and Colombia, and formed a criminal-political axis with La Guajira's corrupt former Governor Juan Francisco "Kiko" Gomez, which was allegedly behind a series of political murders. Figueroa was captured in October 2014.
Victor Ramon Navarro Serrano, alias "Megateo," led the only remaining faction of the EPL guerrilla movement. Megateo was considered the most important drug trafficker in Norte de Santander, had a $1 million price on his head from the Colombian government, and was wanted by US authorities on international drug trafficking charges. In August 2015, reports emerged that he was killed during a military operation. Forensic pathologists identified his remains through DNA analysis in October of that same year.
Roberto Vargas Gutiérrez, alias "Gavilán," transformed himself from Maoist guerrilla to paramilitary fighter to top leader of the Urabeños. He turned himself in to authorities twice, only to return to criminal life, each time a little higher up in the underworld. Gavilán was killed on August 31, 2017 during a joint police-military operation called Agamemnon II.
Medellin native Henry de Jesus Lopez, alias "Mi Sangre," had a prolific criminal career that saw him become a key number of several criminal organizations in Colombia. He was captured in October 2012 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.