“Diego Rastrojo,” one of the top commanders of Colombia’s largest drug gang, “Los Rastrojos,” was arrested in Venezuela Sunday.
Rastrojo, whose real name is Diego Perez Henao, was reportedly arrested early Sunday morning in an operation carried out by Venezuelan armed forces using Colombian intelligence.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos confirmed the arrest of the 41-year-old Rastrojos leader through Twitter, calling it a “blow against ‘Bacrim’,” a word used by the government to describe neo-paramilitary groups and successor groups of the cartels that ran Colombia’s drug trade since the 1990s.
It is the second time that Venezuela reported the arrest of Rastrojo. Colombian authorities have not confirmed the arrest.
Sunday’s reported arrest came a month after one of the two supreme leaders of the Rastrojos, “Comba,” reportedly surrendered to U.S. authorities on the Caribbean island of Aruba and only weeks after the arrest of “Pizarro” who according to local media was expected to take Rastrojo’s place in the case of promotion.
The only remaining commander of the original Rastrojos command structure is now Luis Enrique Calle Serna.
Rastrojo used to be a key member of the Norte del Valle cartel until, under the leadership of “Jabon,” the Rastrojos separated from the cartel and began their own drug trafficking organization in 2002. The now-arrested suspect in suspected of having ordered the killing of Jabon in 2008 after which the Comba brothers took over the drug trafficking organization, appointing Rastrojo as their military commander.