Argentina confirmed on Thursday that that a Colombian national gunned down by two unknown assailants in Buenos Aires had drug-trafficking links at home, reported local media.
Carlos Gutierrez was gunned down while cycling with his girlfriend, who survived the shooting, around the lakes of tourist neighborhood of Palermo in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires on Monday afternoon.
Gutierrez was thought to be the leader of a group of hitmen belonging to the now-defunct Norte del Valle Cartel, which operated principally in the southern Colombian state of Valle Del Cauca,
His old employer had blamed Gutierrez for a failed shipment of drugs to Europe forcing him to evade revenge in Argentina, El Espectador newspaper reported.
The Norte del Valle Cartel reached its peak during the 1990s before its primary leaders were either captured or killed, leading to the cartel’s disintegration in 2007 and the eventual rise of one of the Cartel’s associated armed groups, the “Rastrojos”, who are now considered to be one of the most powerful drug trafficking organizations in Colombia.
According to Argentinian newspaper La Nacion, the assassination was planned in Colombia by former bosses who hired “an old acquaintance and former comrade of the victim,” and used him identify Gutierrez.
Authorities suspect that the name Carlos Gutierrez is false as he had no criminal record and no international arrest warrant, which is thought to have allowed the victim to undertake several trips to Argentina since 1997.
According to reports, the attackers fired on Gutierrez, who died almost immediately, while his girlfriend was hit by two bullets and is currently trying to recover from her injuries in hospital.