BOGOTA – An alleged Colombian drug trafficker captured in a luxurious house in Brazil is under investigation for more than 100 murders in Colombia, including the killings of several politicians, the Colombian Defense Ministry has announced.
In a statement Wednesday, the ministry said that Marcos de Jesus Figueroa, alias “Maquitos Figueroa,” was linked to the deaths of Henry Ustariz Guerra in 2008 and his wife, Yandra Brito, a former mayor, in 2012.
That same year former legislator Efrain Ovalle Onate and Danny Deluque were also killed and Figueroa was believed to be involved, the ministry said.
Colombian Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon said that police had also arrested Figueroa’s cousin who is accused of being “his right hand and the head of the criminal organization’s assassins.”
“There are active charges of aggravated homicide, production, trafficking and illegal possession of firearms and conspiracy against ‘Marquitos Figueroa,’” added the statement.
Figueroa, 47, is considered to be the leader of a criminal gang working for Francisco “Kiko” Gomez, former governor of the northern La Guajira Department who was arrested for ties to paramilitary groups and killings in the region on the border with Venezuela.
After the paramilitary demobilization in the northern part of Cesar in Colombia in the middle of the last decade, a group of criminals continued being engaged in drug trafficking and fuel smuggling.
Among the gangs in operation was that of Figueroa, made up mostly of his relatives, which tried to extend its criminal activities in the Cesar and La Guajira departments.
According to General Rodolfo Palomino, director of police, Figueroa was in Venezuela but when he found out about the arrest warrants against him he traveled to Brazil where he was caught Wednesday.