2,070 kilos of cocaine, Colombian representative in Mexico Juan Pablo Rojas Lopez "El Halcon" and 14 others arrested in Colombia, Mexico

In a press conference the Attorney General, Rafael Macedo de la Concha, announced that as a result of investigations started in October 2002, by the Deputy Attorney's Office for the Specialized Investigation of Organized Crime (SIEDO), with the back-up of the Federal Investigations Agency (AFI), in a raid made yesterday, 15 members of an international criminal drug network, whose boss in Mexico was Juan Pablo Rojas Lopez (aka) "El Halcon," were arrested. As the liaison between criminal organizations, he was responsible for the reception and distribution of cocaine from Colombia.

The scope of this criminal organization was such that it set the prices of cocaine on the black market in the Federal District and the neighboring municipalities in the State of Mexico.

At the moment of the arrests the federal agents seized two tons 70 kilograms of cocaine - which the criminals were preparing for its shipment to the United States of America, with stopovers in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas - and were hidden in a warehouse which has been remodeled as a safe house in the said city.

The investigations tasks of the AFI allowed to detect the activities of those responsible both of the shipments and the reception of the cocaine from Buenaventura, Colombia, and destined to the United States of America.

Those responsible for the shipment of the drugs were Victor Mejia and his brother Manuel, identified as "Los Mellizos", or The Twins, through Carlos Jaramillo Correaand his brother Mauricio, operators of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in Medellin, according to the statement made by Juan Pablo Rojas Lopez, who acted as the liaison for the organization in Mexico, that operated in the Federal District, Guadalajara, Jalisco and Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, and was responsible of the reception and distribution of the drugs in our country.

From February 2003 to date, the approximate average flow of cocaine into the US amounted to two tons a month. According to Juan Pablo Rojas, the seized drugs were worth about 40 million dollars on the US black market.

The names of the 15 members of the criminal organization are the following: Rafael Jesus Perez Zamudio (aka) "El Chucho", Mauricio Perez ZamudioErnesto Perez ZamudioJaime Aviles RiveraJose Salvador Castillo RuizGuillermo Gonzalez LacyJose Luis Gama Gama and David Arizmendi Millan, in charge of security and custody of the drug shipments.

While Carlos Alberto Rocha was in charge of logistics for the storage and custody of the cocaine, Eliseo Pedraza Rivera was in charge of the transportation of the drug.

For their part, Froilan Gonzalez HernandezEmilio Andres Vizcaino Ramirez, the Colombian Carlos Mauricio Garzan Suarez , and Zulema Yulia Hernandez Ramirez were in charge of the distribution and sale of the drug in the Federal District and the metropolitan area.

In his statement Juan Pablo Rojas Lopez said his criminal career started in the 80s, when he joined the Medellin cartel that operated in Mexico, under the command of Miguel Angel Willis. Later, after the capture of the leaders of the cartel, in particular of its boss Pablo Escobar Gaviria, and the death of Miguel Angel Willis, Rojas Lopez lost touch and remained without any direct contacts until 2002 when he was recruited by Víctor Mejía Munera and his brother Manuel, known as "Los Mellizos." He came to be part of the organization as its representative in Mexico for the reception of the shipments from Medellin, Colombia.

It is important to note that in order to finance the operation of the organization in Mexico, payment to its members was made with part of the goods. In order to cover their costs, the members distributed the drug on the national market through a retail sale network that covered Tepito and Iztapalapa in the Federal District, and the neighboring municipalities in the State of Mexico, such as Nezahualcoyotl, Chalco and Ecatepec.

The records kept at the PGR and the information gathered during the investigation show that Zulema Yulia Hernandez Ramirez was a part of the structure as a liaison with Delia Patricia Buendia (a) "Ma Baker", the main retail distributor in Nezahualcoyotl, while Emilio Andres Vizcaino Ramirez was the main retail distributor in the Tepito Barrio.

Source: Procuraduría General de la República

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