Colombia: top kingpin “Don Mario” captured

Daniel Rend贸n Herrera AKA “Don Mario”鈥擟olombia’s most wanted and feared drug lord鈥攚as captured April 15 in Apartad贸 municipality, in the Urab谩 region of northern Antioquia department, near the Caribbean coast. According to local media reports, twenty to thirty of the kingpin’s men were also arrested. The operation, involving some 300 agents, was headed by National Police commissioner Oscar Naranjo himself, who had secretly gone to the region to coordinate the raid.

The 43-year-old “Don Mario,” who controlled the drug trade in the Urab谩 and Choc贸 regions, is allegedly tied to the 脕guilas Negras, a paramilitary network that emerged after the official demobilization of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC). He is estimated to have his own private army of up to a thousand men, and is held responsible for 3,000 homicides over the past 18 months.

The brother of Don Mario, Freddy Rend贸n Herrera AKA “El Aleman”, was a leading member of AUC. In Washington, Drug Enforcement Administration chief of intelligence Anthony Placido told AP that Rend贸n is wanted in the United States on drug-trafficking charges and that the US government will seek his extradition. (Colombia Reports, EFE, April 15)

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