Colombia’s National Police have captured 17 people allegedly belonging to a criminal network that complied with the orders of Antioquia-based narco-trafficking kingpin “Valenciano,” Radio Santa Fe reported Wednesday.
Among the detainees of the criminal gang, known as “Calatrava,” was the supposed ringleader, alias “Calicho,” as well as two members of Colombia’s national prison authority, Inpec.
The group members were captured in the Antioquian municipality of Bello, on the northern outskirts of Medellin, although they are mainly wanted in connection with crimes in the municipality of Itagui, Bello’s southern equivalent given its close proximity to Medellin.
The detainees are due to be charged for the murders of at least six people, conspiracy to commit murder, drug trafficking and unjust enrichment, among other allegations.
The full extent of their supposed ties to Maximiliano Orozco Bonilla, alias “Valenciano,” are as yet unclear, although they could be aiding the ex-paramilitary drug lord’s “Oficina de Envigado” faction, which is currently waging a deadly gang war against his former ally, alias “Sebastian,” in the Antioquian capital of Medellin.
Sebastian, who leads the “Oficina de Envigado”‘s opposing faction, controls an estimated 85% of the micro-trafficking drug trade in Medellin, whereas Valenciano has traditionally involved himself in the international drug trade, but his recent alliances with “Los Urabeños” aim to change the status quo.