Colombia: top kingpin "Don Mario" captured

Daniel Rendón Herrera AKA "Don Mario"—Colombia's most wanted and feared drug lord—was captured April 15 in Apartadó municipality, in the Urabá 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 Urabá and Chocó regions, is allegedly tied to the Águilas 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 Rendón Herrera AKA "El Aleman", was a leading member of AUC. In Washington, Drug Enforcement Administration chief of intelligence Anthony Placido told AP that Rendón is wanted in the United States on drug-trafficking charges and that the US government will seek his extradition. (Colombia Reports, EFE, April 15)

See our last posts on Colombia, the cartels and the paramilitaries.

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