Search for Colombian brothers ‘linked’ to Mexican drug lord

posted by Toni Peters

Colombia news - Oscar Naranjo

Authorities begin international manhunt to find three Colombian brothers who are suspected associates of Mexican drug trafficker Joaquin Guzman “El Chapo,” said police director General Oscar Naranjo, W Radio reported Monday.

The Colombian Police, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), are undertaking an “international manhunt” to locate the Cifuentes Villa brothers: Jorge Milton, Dolly de Jesus and Hildebrando Alexander,

“Operation Mercury” as it has been called, which includes the participation of Mexican authorities, also has the aim of locating the financial assets of the brothers and their 45 companies on the U.S. State Department’s Kingpin List. Companies on the list are designated as having links with narco-traffickers and banned from doing business with U.S. companies. Twenty-eight of these 45 companies are Colombian.

According to investigations, the three brothers “inherited” the illegal businesses from their late brother Francisco Cifuentes Villa, alias “Pacho Cifuentes,” who started in the trafficking trade as a pilot confidante of Pablo Escobar, the deceased leader of the Medellin Cartel.

Pacho Cifuentes was killed on April 23, 2007 but left his businesses and assets to his widow Maria Patricia Rodriguez and his three brothers. Maria Patricia Rodriguez was detained and extradited to the US in October 2010.

The three Colombians have Interpol red notices issued for them which are arrest warrants with the aim of extradition, in the case of the brothers, to a South Florida district court for crimes of narco trafficking and money laundering.

In January, Colombian Julio Enrique Ayala Muñoz was arrested in Cali for suspected links with Joaquin Guzman alias “Chapo”.

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