Authorities are investigating how notorious drug trafficker “Gordo Lindo” was able to walk out of prison in the capital Bogota.
Prison authority INPEC and the Prosecutor General’s Office blame each other for the disappearance of Gordo Lindo, whose real name is Francisco Javier, on November 29 last year.
According to the Prosecutor General, INPEC released Gordo Lindo despite an active arrest warrant that was issued in November 2018.
Colonel Daniel Fernando Gutierrez, the director of INPEC, said that officials revised Gordo Lindo’s legal status in the computer system shared with the judicial branch and the police, but “didn’t find any active or pending process.”
This was confirmed by an email sent by Gordo Lindo’s defense attorney to the Cali judge who was only hours away from sentencing the drug trafficker to 11 years in prison on money laundering and illicit enrichment.
In this email, the attorney said that “the inquiries carried out by INPEC did not keep the trial that is pending in your court because it wasn’t in the system.”
A July 2021 sentence of war crimes tribunal JEP confirmed that the prosecution did issue the November 2018 arrest warrant as part of an investigation by Drug Trafficking Unit 24 into Gordo Lindo’s drug trafficking activity between the 1990’s and his surprise extradition to the United States in 2008.
The same sentence also stated that the prosecution’s drug trafficking unit said in September of 2019 that it was “waiting for international judicial assistance documents” from the United States in order to call Gordo Lindo to trial.
The drug trafficking prosecutor is apparently still waiting for the Florida court papers that specify the crimes for which Gordo Lindo was convicted in October 2008.
In order to prevent trying the drug trafficker for crimes Gordo Lindo has already served time, the money laundering prosecutor limited his investigation.
Gordo Lindo’s American conviction was limited to crimes that were revealed as part of “Operation Millennium,” which resulted in criminal charges against former Medellin Cartel founder Fabio Ochoa and more than 35 alleged members of the Norte del Valle Cartel.
According to a Medellin court, Gordo Lindo had been involved in drug trafficking since 1990 as a member of the Medellin Cartel.
The drug trafficker was returned to Colombia in April 2018 and arrested on illicit enrichment, conspiracy and homicide charges that have yet to be taken to court.