June 29, 2022

Gilberto rodriguez orejuela, the infamous former chief of colombia’s drug trafficking cali cartel, has died in a us jail on the age of 83, his lawyer has stated.

Rodriguez orejuela was serving time at a federal jail in butner, north carolina.

Typically identified by his alias “the chess participant”, he was thought-about to be one of many world’s greatest drug lords following the 1993 loss of life of pablo escobar, the chief of the rival medellin cartel.

Alongside together with his youthful brother miguel – who can also be imprisoned in the usa – rodriguez orejuela ran the cali cartel out of the western colombian metropolis of the identical title.

After his seize in 1995, rodriguez orejuela was sentenced to fifteen years in jail in colombia, however was launched after solely seven.

He was then arrested once more in 2003 and held in a colombian jail till being extradited to the usa in december 2004.

“we had been very unhappy to find out about his passing final night time. Our ideas and prayers are together with his household at the moment,” his lawyer david oscar markus stated on wednesday.

Large legal enterprise

Rodriguez orejuela and his brothermiguel, constructed an enormous legal enterprise that succeeded the medellin cartel as soon as run by drug lord pablo escobar. Each operations used violence and killings extensively for intimidation and enforcement.

The rodríguez orejuela brothers had been captured in 1995 and imprisoned in colombia. At that time, colombian regulation prohibited the extradition of its nationals. However beneath stress from the us, colombia lifted that ban in 1997.

The brothers had been discovered to have been persevering with to visitors from jail and legal prices had been filed in miami and new york. In 2004, gilberto was extradited; miguel was extradited the following 12 months.

Below a 2006 plea deal that the brothers reached with federal prosecutors in miami, greater than two dozen relations had been faraway from a us treasury division checklist designating them as a part of the cali cartel. That spared a few of them from prosecution for obstruction of justice or cash laundering and in addition allowed reputable household companies in colombia to proceed working.

Gilberto rodriguez orejuela’s jail launch date had been scheduled for february 9, 2030. His youthful brother is serving his sentence at a pennsylvania jail.

Maybe the most important legacy of the rodriguez orejuela brothers was their capacity to quietly corrupt colombian politics, delivering shoeboxes of money to liberal occasion president ernesto samper’s marketing campaign previous to his 1994 election as president and shopping for off a lot of congress.

The cali cartel as soon as managed 80 % of the worldwide cocaine market, in line with a recent report from the us drug enforcement administration.

Whereas painted within the fashionable press as much less violent than pablo escobar and the medellin cartel, the rodriguez orejuela brothers had been later accused of paying off journalists to suppress information of cali cartel-related killings.

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