A former mayor from northern Colombia has been captured by police Thursday morning on suspicions of murder and conspiracy, reported local media.
Ex-mayor Jorge Luis Alfonso Lopez, alias “El Gatico” (“The Kitten”), was arrested in Barranquilla for allegedly murdering Colombian journalist, Rafael Primos in 2005 and for conspiring to kill Turkish citizen, Hamil Kasser Ali in 2004. Alfonso Lopez apparently told gunmen to shoot Ali over a business dispute. From 2003 to 2006, Lopez served as the mayor of Magangue, the second-largest city in the Bolivar department that sits on Colombia’s northern coast. He has been a fugitive since March 2011.
El Gatico has been known to be involved in various scandals, including having alleged connections to paramilitary groups. Upon his capture, authorities found firearms and cash in the form of American dollars and Colombian pesos.
Alfonso Lopez is the oldest son of Enilse Lopez Romero, alias “La Gata” (“The Cat”), who was sentenced to nine years of prison on February 1 for financing and having proven ties to paramilitary organizations within Colombia’s Atlantico department between 2000 and 2003. She was an entrepreneur who made her fortune from lottery offices. La Gata was known to have powerful control over the Magangue district, where she was also believed to be responsible for extortion and violence within much of the area.
Alfonso Lopez was transported to Bogota Thursday and is awaiting trial.