The man was captured in the nearby town of Colonia 72 three hours before the Sunday night slaughter in which masked attackers slit the throats of six men and one minor using machetes in the rural village of Buenavista. The man arrested is currently remanded in custody.
Reports say the man was also in possession of a gun, a communications radio and documents which led to his identification as a member of “Los Paisas.”
Authorities hop that the arrest will be key to uncovering the motives and perpetratos of Sunday’s attack. Investigators believe the drug trafficking organization is at war with regional rivals “Los Urabeños” over control of drug-trafficking routes. The notoriously crime-ridden Cordoba department is a key transit point for drug being shipped to the Atlantic coast.
“We are looking for conections between the captive and the people who carried out the multiple homicide” Cordoba’s chief of Police Colonel Pedro Angelo Franco told El Tiempo.
Early reports suggest the detained gang member was an informant who offered information about other gang’s movements in the area to leaders of “las Paisas.”
On Wednesday, the bodies of Jairo Miguel Martinez Torres, Abraham Lozano Martinez, Raul Ignacio Martinez Torres, Andres Felipe and Lozano Martinez, all members of one family, were buried.
Meanwhile the bodies of Rafael Enrique Hernandez Suarez and Never Manuel Acevedo Hernandez were transferred to their hometown of Ayapel. A Counterinsurgency Battallion of the 11th Brigade and a platoon of police officers have been working on the case since Monday
Buenavista government secretary Jose Luis Sarmiento said the violence has cost the lives of 56 people in the region so far this year, while in 2009 the municipality registered ten homicides. Several families in Colonia 72 have abandoned their farms for fear of gang retaliation.