Police arrested a suspected top member of Colombian crime syndicate the “Rastrojos” Wednesday.
Ivan Dario Barrero Acevedo, alias “Pizarro,” was captured in the southwestern Valle del Cauca department, home to the Rastrojos, one of Colombia’s most powerful drug gangs. Pizzarro was the alleged third in command for the drug trafficking organziation.
Pizarro is suspected of being responsible for more than 50 murders and was arrested on conspiracy, drug trafficking, and weapons charges.
His capture follows a string of arrests targeting the Rastrojos, whose operations stretch across Colombia and reach into Venezuela and Ecuador.
According to Colombian news site CM&, Pizarro was likely posed to rise in the Rastrojos ranks after Javier Calle Serna, alias “Comba,” surrendered to U.S. authorities at the beginning of May. In the two weeks following Comba’s arrest, authorities also arrested 18 members of a supposed “FARC-Rastrajos” alliance.
Pizarro began his outlaw life as a member of the 30th front of the FARC, and was then recruited into the paramilitary group that eventually became the Rastrajos. Before his arrest, local news sources say Pizarro headed Rastrajos branches in Colombian departments along the coast.
Authorities had offered an award of more than $200,000 for information leading to his arrest.