Authorities in the coastal city of Cartagena say they have arrested a gang leader suspected of ordering the highly publicized murder of two Bogota students on a beach in the Cordoba department in January.
In a joint operation, the navy and investigators from the Prosecutor General’s Office arrested Salvador Negrete Bustamante, alias “Rodrigo,” the local ringleader of neo-paramilitary gang “Los Urabeños.”
According to a press release on the navy’s website, “Rodrigo” was arrested on Tuesday and handed over to judicial authorities for arraignment.
The arrest of the gang leader comes shortly after the apprehension of a mototaxi driver from San Bernardo del Viento, the town where the students were killed, who is suspected of having informed the gang about the students’ behavior.
The double homicide caused outrage in Bogota where the students attended the prestigious Los Andes University. The killing forced national authorities to launch an offensive against neo-paramilitary groups that have caused soaring murder rates in the department over the past years.