Ex-paramilitary drug traffickers extradited to US

Colombia has extradited alleged drug traffickers Jacinto Enrique Baez and Jose Benito Villarreal to the U.S. Tuesday, local media reported.

As leader of the “Baez Clan”, Baez is suspected of overseeing the shipment of at least 10 tons of cocaine into the US between 2008 and 2010, and is also linked to a 5,000 kilos shipment of cocaine confiscated by the DEA and the US Navy in 2009. His extradition was requested last March.

According to Colombian police, the Baez Clan has been in operation since at least 2007, after establishing their business in partnership with ex-paramilitary leader Eder Pedraza, alias “Ramon Mojana.” Pedraza was extradited to the US on drug trafficking charges in 2010.

Villarreal, alias “Echeverry”, served under Edward Cobos, alias “Diego Vecino” and Uber Banquez, alias “Juancho Dique” as part of the paramilitary Montes de Maria Bloc. Cobos and Banquez are currently serving time in Colombian prison for their involvement in the deaths of more than six thousand people.

After the demobilization of Montes de Maria Bloc, Villarreal served as chief financial officer for Maximiliano Bonilla Orozco, alias “Valenciano.” Orozco, former head of Medellin mafia group “Oficina de Envigado,” is currently serving time in US prison.

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