Colombia police said Friday they have arrested the godson of slain AUC founder Carlos Castaño on charges he commanded the drug trafficking routes of AUC successor group “Urabeños” in southwest Colombia.
Yony Alberto Grajales, a.k.a. “The Godson,” was arrested just outside of the town of Buga, Valle del Cauca.
According to the National Police, Grajales had been sent there by Urabeños chief “Otoniel” three months ago to lead his neo-paramilitary organization’s drug trafficking routes to the Pacific ocean.
The son of the former personal chef of Castaño, one of the most feared paramilitary commanders in the history of Colombia, became one of “Otoniel’s” financial chiefs in Uraba, the birthplace of the AUC that morphed into the Urabeños between 2003 and 2006 when the AUC officially formalized.
However, “Otoniel,” Grajales and thousands of other paramilitaries never took part in that demobilization and instead formed the Urabeños, using the AUC’s criminal structure to continue the paramilitaries’ activity, mainly in drug trafficking and illegal mining.
Grajales, who had begun rising in the AUC under the protection of the Castaño family, initially became one of the Urabeños’ financial chiefs in their home region of Uraba.
His uncle, “El Negro Sarley,” became Otoniel’s right hand man until he was killed by authorities in 2013.
Grajales’ uncle’s death meant promotion for Castaño’s godson, according to the police, and he became the neo-paramilitary group’s primary financial chief for the region around the Panamanian border and responsible for the drug trafficking routes in Uraba.
However, as the Urabeños continued expanding their control over drug trafficking throughout Colombia, Grajales was sent to Valle del Cauca where the group has been trying to consolidate its power at the expense of local drug cartels like “Los Rastrojos” and “La Empresa.”
Since Gralajes’ arrival in Valle del Cauca three months ago, the Urabeños began an offensive against La Empresa in Colombia’s largest port city, Buenaventura, and against Rastrojos associates in Cali, Colombia’s third largest city.
The former AUC has since their official demobilization and subsequent removal from the United States’ International Terrorist Organizations list recovered control are are now present in one-third of Colombia’s national territory.
The Godson faces extradition because he is wanted by the United States to face drug trafficking charges.