Posted by Cameron Sumpter on Jul 9, 2010 Leave a comment

Los Rastrojos leader “R-9” captured in Nariño

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A ringleader of the infamous “Los Rastrojos” gang known as “R-9” was captured in Pasto, in the Nariño department. The government had offered a COP150 million ($80,000) reward for information on the gang leader, reports El Colombiano.

29-year-old Manuel Esteban Cordoba Tabares, alias “R-9,” was head of the drug-trafficking Los Rastrojos gang in Nariño and Cauca, and was wanted by Colombian authorities.

Tabares, who also goes by the names, “El Chicho” and “Yepes,” was traveling in a car on the Pan-American highway with three men thought to be his security guards.

Los Rastrojos are in the midst of a violent dispute with the FARC’s 29th Front over control of drug supply routes and coca cultivation land, which has led to the deaths of civilians caught in the conflict.

Authorities say that Tabares is originally from Turbo in the Antioquia department, and is a demobilized former member of the AUC’s southern Liberatores bloc, who was supposedly reintegrated into civilian life in July 2005.

In late June police dealt a serious blow to Los Rastrojos by arresting fourteen members of the drug-trafficking gang.

This branch was allegedly responsible for 60% of the homicides in the Norte del Valle department, and had in its possession 900 hectares of coca fields.