Police said Sunday they have arrested a top commander of neo-paramilitary group ERPAC who is said to be a direct ally of one of Colombia’s most mysterious drug lord, “El Loco” Barrera.
The suspect, know as “El Flaco Fredy,” was arrested in the central Meta department, an ERPAC stronghold, National Police commander General Jose Roberto Leon announced at a press conference.
El Flaco Fredy reportedly took over the leadership of a dissident faction of the drug trafficking organization, called “Bloque Meta,” following the demobilization of “Caracho” and 283 lower-ranked members of the organization in December 2011.
ERPAC was formed by “Cuchillo,” then a mid-level paramilitary commander of the partially demobilized AUC‘s Bloque Centauros, who never took part in the demobilization of the AUC between 2003 and 2006 and took over his former organization’s drug trafficking and arms trafficking routes between Colombia’s eastern plains and the Venezuelan border. Cuchillo died when trying to escape authorities in December 2010.
The group, estimated to have between 150 and 800 members, is alleged to have close ties to El Loco, who is considered one of Colombia’s most prominent drug lords because of his dealings with several drug trafficking organizations.