According to the Prosecutor General’s Office, paramilitary group AGC and Medellin crime syndicate Oficina de Envigado teamed up with the Pachenca gang from Santa Marta and the “Clan del Oriente” from the Magdalena Medio region to form a “consortium” dedicated to exporting drugs and importing arms.
Prosecutors arrested 14 alleged members of these groups, including “Roque,” the son of Ramon Isaza, who is believed to have been a former Medellin Cartel associate before he helped found the now-defunct paramilitary organization AUC.
According to the US authorities, the AGC is responsible for the vast majority of cocaine trafficked to the US while the Oficina de Envigado is known to use Medellin’s largely informal economy to launder money.
The Pachenca gang controls much of the criminal activities carried out in Caribbean port city Santa Marta and the surrounding Magdalena province.
The ring formed by the members of the illegal armed groups and organized crime organizations “served as a bridge to the Italian Mafia, Mexican cartels and other structures.”
The suspects would operate from the Colombian cities of Bogota, Medellin, Manizales, Valledupar and Santa Marta from where they coordinated “the sending of drugs to Costa Rica, Panama, Bahamas and Mexico, countries where the drugs would be stored and after negotiations be sent to the United States, Canada, Spain, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Australia and several Asian countries,” said the chief of the prosecution’s Organized Crime unit, Claudia Carrasquilla.
The US justice system has evidence of more than three tons of cocaine that traveled from the Colombian Caribbean and Pacific [coasts] using speedboats and artisanal boats.
Organized Crime prosecution chief Claudia Carrasquilla
With the exception of “Chucho Mercancia,” the boss of the Pachenca gang, all other groups involved in the alleged drug trafficking ring have their origins in the Medellin Cartel.
The AGC is a dissident group of the now-defunct AUC paramilitary organization that was founded by former Medellin Cartel associates from northern Antioquia.
Roque’s father began his criminal career as an associate of Medellin Cartel founder “El Mexicano” and operated mainly in the east of the Antioquia province.
The Oficina de Envigado was Escobar’s enforcer army in Medellin until his death in 1993. Deflected mid-level commander “Don Berna” took over control of the gangs and turned them into a well-organized crime syndicate.