Los Pachenca, a.k.a. the ACSN, are an organized crime group from Colombia’s Caribbean coast where they control cocaine exports and other organized crime rackets.
The origins of Los Pachenca go back to the 1970’s and 1980’s when drug traffickers and regional elites from the port city of Santa Marta teamed up with the Medellin Cartel, the National Police and the National Army to create naval drug trafficking routes to Central and North America, and Europe.
Among the drug traffickers was Hernan Giraldo Sierra, a.k.a. “The Boss” or “The Drill,” who started off as a farmhand in 1969 and became a major marijuana producer in the 1970’s.
The Drill demobilized his “Tayrona Resistance Bloc” as part of the AUC’s demobilization process in 2006 and left an unknown number of his more than 70 children in charge of the criminal activities of what initially became known as the “Giraldo Clan.”
The Drill was extradited to the United States in 2008 and returned to Colombia to serve the remainder of his prison sentence in January 2021.
Giraldo’s extradition caused a split among his offspring and spurred some of his children to join the paramilitary group AGC while the majority of those active in organized crime formed Los Pachenca.
Some of Giraldo’s former associates in politics, the security forces and the private sector have been arrested while other alleged and reported associates continued their careers despite evidence of their ties to organized crime.
These murky ties of Giraldo’s former associates continue to cast a shadow on national politics, the private sector, the security forces and Colombia’s intelligence community.
The prosecution has alleged that Los Pachenca maintain ties with “La Oficina de Envigado,” a Medellin-based GDO that is specialized in money laundering and was originally founded by Pablo Escobar as the Medellin Cartel’s paramilitary group in the late drug lord’s native city.
Los Pachenca and La Oficina form part of an international cocaine trafficking network together with foreign DTO’s from the United States, Mexico, Italy, the Western Balkans, the Caribbean and the Netherlands.
Both GDO’s are currently engaged in preliminary negotiations with the national government about their possible participation in the “Total Peace” policy of President Gustavo Petro, which seeks to dismantle groups like Los Pachenca and their support networks