“Julio Palizada,” real name Jesus Atehortua, has been implicated in multiple murders throughout his extensive criminal history as an AUC paramilitary leader and as the alleged “chief henchman” to Otoniel, the supreme leader of the notorious criminal gang the “Urabeños.”
According to police, Julio Palizada is facing murder, kidnapping and conspiracy charges which could send him to prison for up to 40 years.
Police reported that Palizada was in charge of “at least 80 criminals responsible for extortion…killings and [extorting miners] in [the] Frontino, Dabeiba, Urrao and Uramita” regions within the central Colombian department of Antioquia. Palizada is also allegedly responsible for drug trafficking operations from Antioquia to Uraba, located near the Panamanian border.
According to the newspaper El Colombiano, Palizada is tied to crimes perpetrated by an AUC bloc commanded by paramilitary leader “Juancho Prada” as well. The AUC group that Palizada was affiliated with allegedly “left more than 5,800 casualties in the Cesar and Norte de Santander [departments]” and committed several political murders, police reported.
Following the demobolization of the AUC in 2006, Palizada became a prominent member of the Urabeños gang that currently terrorizes Colombia’s Caribbean region and is gaining power in Southern Colombia as well.