BOGOTA – A man suspected of being the No. 2 in the Oficina de Envigado gang and wanted for killing two drug enforcement agents was captured over the weekend in Colombia, officials said.
Dairon Alberto Muñoz was arrested on Sunday by the National Police and the Attorney General’s Office in connection with the murders earlier this month of two drug enforcement agents in Medellin, the capital of the northwestern province of Antioquia.
Muñoz took over as the No. 2 boss in the Oficina de Envigado following the arrest of Felix Alberto Isaza on May 24.
The Oficina de Envigado was created in the 1980s by late Medellin cartel boss Pablo Escobar.
Muñoz was arrested in a residential section of Envigado, a city in Antioquia, thanks to information provided by a source who had infiltrated the criminal organization.
Investigators began looking for Muñoz after he allegedly killed drug enforcement agents Sergio Antonio Castro and Franklim Ferley Moreno Lopez on July 12.
The officers’ murders “were perpetrated by the ‘Oficina de Envigado,’” the National Police’s drug enforcement division said in a statement.
Muñoz joined the gang as a hitman and moved up in the organization, eventually marrying Isaza’s sister.
“He was known and feared in the criminal world of Antioquia province for his cold-blooded nature,” the National Police said.
Authorities are looking to use Muñoz’s arrest to close in on Oficina de Envigado leader Ericsson Vargas Cardona, one of the most-wanted criminals in Medellin.
Gangs created by former members of the defunct United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, or AUC, militia federation operate in the Medellin area.
The AUC, accused of committing numerous human rights violations, demobilized more than 31,000 of its fighters between the end of 2003 and mid-2006 as part of the peace process with former President Alvaro Uribe’s administration.
The group was made up of numerous rural defense cooperatives formed more than 20 years ago to battle leftist rebels.
Many of the militias, however, degenerated into death squads and carried out massacres of peasants suspected of having rebel sympathies, along with slayings of journalists and union members accused of favoring the leftist insurgents.
On May 13, 2008, the Colombian government extradited 14 former AUC chiefs to the United States.
The former AUC commanders were wanted in the United States on drug, money laundering and other charges. EFE