The recently killed drug lord “Sebastian” spent $140,000 a month in bribing police and city officials in his area of operations in the north of Colombia, his two former bodyguards told a judge Friday.
According to a report by Caracol Radio, the two former members of the powerful “Los Rastrojos” drug cartel provided the judge documents allegedly proving that regular policemen received $475 a month and local administrative officials got $1,100 a month to disrupt attempts by the National Police to arrest Angel de Jesus Pacheco Chanci, one of the most wanted criminals in the country.
The two bodyguards, who were arraigned on murder, weapons and drug trafficking charges, claimed the bribes took place in the north-west of the department of Antioquia and the south of the Cordoba department.
Following the testimonies, authorities began to investigate which officials received bribes from the man who is largely blamed for the high level of violence in his area of operations. According to his former bodyguards, there was not one murder committed in the area controlled by the drug lord that was not authorized by either the Rastrojos or “Los Paisas,” a neo-paramilitary organization to which Sebastian also had ties.
The bodyguards surrendered to authorities after claiming to have killed their boss.
The National Police reportedly said Sebastian was replaced by “Champeta.” According to organized-crime website InSight Crime, the death of Sebastian allows rival drug gang “Los Urabeños” to consolidate power in the region considered crucial for drug trafficking to Colombia’s Caribbean coast.