In late June a Bogota judge absolved the defendants, citing a lack of evidence. In the coming days, the group will seek damages from the government for being illegally detained without sufficient cause.
The acquitted include several family members of the former heads of the Cali Cartel, Miguel and Gilberto Rodriguez Orejuela, such as their sister and three of Gilberto’s children.
At the height of their power in the early 1990s, the Cali Cartel was arguably the most powerful criminal syndicate in the world. Along with Pacho Herrera and Chepe Santacruz, the Rodriguez Orejuela brothers were known as the four “Godfathers” of the cartel.
Gilberto Rodriguez Orejuela was extradited to the United States on December 3, 2004. His brother Miguel followed in March 2005 and both are currently in prison in Florida.