A major funder of Medellin criminal group the “Office of Envigado,” Alirio de Jesus Rendon Hurtado, alias “El Cebollero,” has been granted parole, three months into his 50-month sentence for aggravated conspiracy.
According to Colombia’s National Prison Authority (INPEC) El Cebollero, who is being held in a maximum security prison in Itagui, Medellin, was granted parole upon payment of bail.
Defending the decision to grant parole, the president of the Administrative Chamber of the Supreme Judicial Council, Hernando Torres, said “The provision of the penal code is that a person who has been convicted is entitled to request parole. The information we have is that there is a bond paid for this freedom, there are other lawsuits pending, but no final sentence, so [Rendon Hurtado] may be released on parole.”
Rendon Hurtado was sentenced to four years and two months in prison on March 23 after admitting to financing criminal organisation “La Union,” linked to larger paramilitary organisation the Office of Envigado. Based in Medellin, the Office is thought to be responsible for a number of murders and forced displacements, and is also implicated in the recent massacre at an Envigado nightclub which killed eight people.
After surrendering in May 2009, Rendon Hurtado originally denied involvement in the illegal activities. He received a reduction in his 75 month sentence following a confession.
El Cebollero (“the onion seller”) fittingly started criminal life as a grocer operating an extortion racket and funding illegal groups in “Central Mayorista,” a wholesale market in Medellin. He went on to become a major distributor of aguardiente, Colombia’s national liquor.