Posted by Marguerite Cawley on Jun 24, 2011 Leave a comment

Colombian police dismantle Medellin criminal band collaborating with ‘Valenciano’

Like Colombia Reports' work?

Become our friend and support independent journalism in Colombia

Colombian police have captured the head of Medellin criminal band “La Quiebra,” along with various other members, operating on the orders of drug lord alias “Valenciano.”

In an operation carried out by DIJIN, the judicial and intelligence branch of the police, in the city’s violence-racked Comuna 13 neighborhood, authorities caught nine gang members, including the head of the criminal group, Alexander Montoya Restrepo, alias “Memin,” reported newspaper El Espectador. Police also arrested two teenagers who were caught in the middle of the criminal acts. Other sources reported eight detainees.

La Quiebra members are accused of being responsible for numerous shootouts and acts of intimidation that have led to the intra-city displacement of a number of families in nearby neighborhoods, where the group has a presence.

The criminal band allegedly operated on the orders of drug lord Maximiliano Bonilla Orozco, alias “Valenciano,” and apparently worked from 14 principal points in the city, committing murders, micro-extortion and micro-trafficking of drugs. The points have reportedly been identified by police and will be raided in the coming days.

Ex-paramilitary drug lord Valenciano controls a faction of the criminal organization “Oficina de Envigado” and is currently waging a violent gang war against a former ally, alias “Sebastian,” who controls around 85% of micro-trafficking drug trade in the city. The drug lord, who formerly operated mainly on an international scale, is reportedly now vying for control of the city’s micro-trade of drugs, aided by a recent alliance with criminal band “Los Urabeños.”

On Wednesday, Colombia’s national police captured 17 people allegedly belonging to another criminal network that complied with the orders of the Antioquia-based narco-trafficking kingpin.

Those arrested Friday will have to respond to charges of aggravated homicide, extortion, drug trafficking and conspiracy to commit crimes with the intent of forced displacement.