Colombian authorities over the weekend vowed to increase the security of family members of captured paramilitary drug lord “Don Mario” after several of his cousins were found executed in a massacre of seven.
Among the seven victims were two minors and three women. All seven have been killed with a shot to the head, the medical examiner’s office announced on Monday.
So far the authorities had been able to establish a connection between some of the victims and “Don Mario,” the alias of former paramilitary commander and drug lord Daniel Rendon.
Don Mario was one of Colombia’s most prominent drug traffickers between 2006 and 2010 and is the suspected founder of neo-paramilitary group “Los Urabeños,” currently the country’s most powerful drug trafficking organization according to authorities.
The drug lord was born in Amalfi, the same village sixty miles north-east of Medellin where the massacre took place.
Don Mario’s lawyer confirmed that the victims of the mass execution were cousins of her client and asked for increased protection.
The attorney said that the murder may be a retaliation for information provided by her client in regards to extrajudicial killings, allegedly carried out in joint operations between the Colombian army and the AUC.
The Colombian military is facing the prosecution of more than 4,000 of these “false positives” killings.
Police confirmed that “Don Mario” had reported assassination threats against him and his family a few months ago.
The authorities said they are looking into various scenarios, with the primary suspects being the Urabeños themselves, or members of local guerrilla units that are active in the area.
According to Antioquia state’s top security secretary, Santiago Londoño, the police “found three grenades, boots and bracelets belonging to the ELN, as well as ropes, vests and pamphlets of the ELN’s ‘Capitan Mauricio’ front at the crime scene.”
National Army General Leonardo Pinto told press that “the ELN is more present, but the criminal gang Los Urabeños is also active” in the area around the estate where the massacre took place.
“The seventh division of the army received information that the Urabeños lead by alias ‘Barrabas’ moved into the area where the massacre happened with 33 men. It’s presumed they committed the crime,” continued Pinto.
The police wouldn’t rule out that the killings were carried out by criminal groups the family had been collaborating with.
A 45-days old baby reportedly survived the slaughter, but is missing. The police are working on verifying the whereabouts of the infant.
Don Mario is awaiting extradition to the United States where he faces charges for drug trafficking.
- Masacrados en Amalfi (Antioquia) era familiares de “Don Mario” (El Espectador)
- Avanzan las investigaciones en torno a masacre en Amalfi, Antioquia (Blu Radio)
- Con ‘Don Mario’ Corte reactiva el envio de ‘exparas’ a EE. UU. (El Tiempo)
- Clan Usuga habria sido el autor de la masacre en Amalfi (GrandesMedios)