Colombia arrested eleven people accused of shipping drugs from the FARC to the cartel of captured Mexican narco-trafficker Edgar Valdez Villareal, alias “La Barbie.”
The detained include Julio Cesar Piña Soberanis, alias “Julio,” a Mexican thought to be La Barbie’s representative in Colombia, according to a police statement.
In Bogota police arrested Denis Alvarino Gomez, alias “El Negrito.” He was allegedly in charge of shipping drugs produced by the FARC’s 30th Front from Bahia Solano, in the Choco department, and Buenaventura, in Valle del Cauca, to the Beltran Leyva cartel.
La Barbie was arrested by Mexican police on Monday. The U.S. citizen is a top member of the Beltran Leyva cartel, which traffics large quantities of cocaine to the U.S., and has been involved in a battle for the gang’s leadership since the previous boss died in December.
The police operation to catch La Barbie’s Colombian contacts had been ongoing for eighteen months, since Walberto Salazar Cuero, alias “Guavita”, was captured in Costa Rica. He was responsible for receiving the cartel’s drug shipments from the FARC.
Police say that the men were responsible for shipping three tons of cocaine a month in speedboats and cargo ships, as well as sending hallucinogenic drugs to Costa Rica, from where they were sent on to Mexico.
La Barbie was one of the most wanted men in the world, with a $2 million reward offered by the U.S. for information leading to his capture.
The capture of the Mexican trafficker “is a high-impact blow against organized crime,” said national security spokesman Alejandro Poire.