Colombia’s Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday to uphold the extradition of Jacinto Nicholas Fuentes, alias “Don Leo,” who was the former leader of the neo-paramilitary group “Los Urabeños.”
Colombia’s Supreme Court confirmed that “Don Leo” Fuentes will be extradited to the United States to be tried in a Miami court for trafficking large amounts of cocaine to the US.
The high court made the decision after making sure that the “documentation submitted in support of the extradition of Jacinto Nicholas Fuentes met the legal requirements set out in the penal law,” according to news website LaFM.
Don Leo was illegally living in Lima, Peru, when he was captured in February after a joint operation involving the Peruvian and Colombian Police.
Don Leo began in the Maoist rebel group, the People’s Liberation Army (EPL), before joining the AUC, the paramilitary organization which grew out of the ashes of the EPL. He later worked for Daniel Rendon Herrera, alias “Don Mario,” who began in the AUC but ended up forming the Urabeños, so-called because the organization began in the Uraba region of northern Antioquia.
Insight Crime report that Don Leo “rose to become a powerful figure in the Urabeños, leading the group’s operations in the strategic region of Bajo Cauca… between the economic hub of Medellin and the Caribbean coast.” Then he allegedly tried to take control of the drug trade in Medellin, waging a bloody war against the “Oficina de Envigado,” the descendent of Pablo Escobar‘s Medellin Cartel.
He was allegedly in Peru in order to make contacts with weapons traffickers so that the Urabeños could arm themselves properly for the war in Medellin.
In April it was estimated that the Urabeños had more soldiers than Colombia’s second-largest rebel group ELN, with 2366 members.