Sunday, May 16, 2021

Arrest of Interpol Mole Exposes Urabeños’ Corruption Networks in Colombia

Arrested Interpol agent Walter de Jesús Ardila
Arrested Interpol agent Walter de Jesús Ardila

(Insightcrime.org) The arrest of an Interpol agent who allegedly colluded with the Urabeños is fresh proof that Colombia’s principal transnational drug trafficking organization remains powerful in the face of intensifying security efforts.

Patrol Officer Walter de Jesús Ardila Orrego, who worked for the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol)’s anti-human trafficking unit in Bogotá, was arrested on May 13, according to a press release by the Attorney General’s Office. The 26-year-old is thought to have been working covertly for the Urabeños group for four years, El Colombiano reported.

- Advertisement -

Among other things, Ardila is accused of selling information on high-ranking security force officials that the Urabeños planned to assassinate, especially those involved in “Operation Agamemnon,” which has targeted the criminal group and its leaders for over a year. Ardila’s capture allegedly revealed that the Urabeños had listed at least 12 of the operation’s top officials — including four police generals — as “military objectives,” El Tiempo reported.

One related case implicating Ardila is the recent arrest of three people who reportedly planned to assassinate a police official and a prosecutor working on Operation Agamemnon. Ardila allegedly fed the detainees information on their whereabouts, for which he received approximately $22,000 (66 million COP).

Ardila — who has been an Interpol agent for seven years — is also suspected of leaking information on the location of the operation’s former directors, retired National Police Chief General Rodolfo Palomino and Brigadier General Luis Eduardo Martínez.

According to the investigation, in 2013 the Interpol officer sold the Urabeños a USB with information on a planned air raid on the camp of the organization’s then “second-in-command,” Francisco José Morelo Peñate, alias “El Negro Sarley.” The information allowed El Negro Sarley to escape, although he was killed by security forces later that year.

- Advertisement -

Ardila has been charged with criminal association, bribery and revealing secrets, although he denies the accusations.
InSight Crime Analysis

The arrest of Ardila once again demonstrates the continuing reach and power of the Urabeños, fuelling doubts about the effectiveness of the government’s crackdown on organized crime.

The Urabeños are currently the security priority for the Colombian security forces, which have captured several top commanders since Operation Agamemnon was launched in February 2015.

SEE ALSO: Colombia News and Profiles

Nevertheless, the operation has clearly not been able to critically weaken the group, which is still showing signs of expansion, widespread social control, and the ability to amass huge amounts of cocaine right under the nose of authorities.

As Ardila’s case proves, the efficiency of security force operations will continue to be jeopardized if criminal groups keep infiltrators within their enemies’ ranks. The Urabeños’ number one, Dairo Antonio Usuga David, alias “Otoniel,” has been particularly adept at evading capture and given the Urabeños extensive corruption networks, it would not be surprising if he were also aided by crooked government and security officials.

- Advertisement -

FACT CHECK:
We strive for accuracy in its reports. But if you see something that doesn’t look right, send us an email. The Q reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it’s accuracy.

Rico
"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of onlinemagazines that includes TodayColombia.com. Rico brings his special kind of savvy to online marketing. His websites are engaging, provocative, informative and sometimes off the wall, where you either like or you leave it. The same goes for him, like him or leave him.There is no middle ground. No compromises, only a passion to present reality as he sees it!

Related Articles

Poverty and hunger in Colombia: symptoms of the virus and the social crisis

QCOLOMBIA (Semana) Luis Plata is only 30 years old, but on...

Go inside a COVID-19 response at the Venezuela-Colombia border

QCOLOMBIA (IRC) Before the coronavirus pandemic, around 40,000 Venezuelans would cross...
- paying the bills -

MOST READ

- paying the bills -

WANT TO STAY UP TO DATE WITH THE LATEST!

Get our daily newsletter with the latest posts directly in your mailbox. Click on the subscribe and fill out the form. It's that simple!