A leader of a Colombian criminal group ‘Los Rastrojos‘ has been charged with crimes that could condemn him to jail for up to 44 years, reported local media Monday.
After an eight hour trial, prosecution charged Diego Perez Henao, alias “Diego Rastrojo,” with the crimes of aggravated homicide, conspiracy of drug trafficking, manufacturing, possession and distribution of arms for private use of armed forces, and forced displacement and disappearance.
According to the investigation, the head of the Los Rastrojos provided the FARC with money to execute assassinations and the disappearance of farmers, so that the group could seize their goods and exercise control over key routes for foreign drug transportation.
The Pacific-based Rastrojos are one of Colombia’s most powerful transnational crime syndicates, but have suffered a series of severe blows in recent months, including the July arrest of Edison Antonio Pelaez, alias “Mincho,” who, according to officials, served as the acting boss of the group after the surrender of Javier Antonio Calle Serna, alias “Comba,” to U.S. authorities in May.
The process to charge Diego Rastrojo began after authorities dealt this crushing blow in the western Valle del Cauca department. Following the attack, the former criminal leader fled to Venezuela where he was captured on June 3 and then deported back to Colombia July 25.
Diego Rastrojo is currently being held in Bogota’s La Picota jail.