Colombian police on Tuesday captured Ismael “El Santandereano” Peñaranda Chona, a paramilitary member suspected of 100 murders, in Bucumaranga, Santander department.
El Santandereano was arrested by police for illegal possession of a weapon during a routine patrol of the city, reports Radio Nacional de Colombia.
The suspect is already under more than ten investigations for homicides and extortion, including the murder of a policeman.
El Meridiano de Cordoba says that the capture coincides with the delivery of data by an informant on a paramilitary organisation called “Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia”, a group El Santandereano is thought to be linked to.
Composed of more than 1000 members, Autodefensas Gaintanistas de Colombia is considered a drug gang by the government of President Alvaro Uribe. Its leader, Daniel “Don Mario” Rendon Herrera is currently in prison. Due to the pressure put by the police on this group in the department of Cordoba, Peñaranda sought refuge in Bucamaranga, where he was apprehended.
The day of his capture, the police distributed around Bucamaranga thousands of pictures of fifteen of the most wanted delinquents in the area, reports El Tiempo.