Colombia’s most wanted drug trafficker arrested

April 16th, 2009 - 3:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Bogota, April 16 (EFE) Colombia’s most wanted drug trafficker Daniel Rendon has been arrested in an operation involving 500 police officers, an official said.
Rendon, alias Don Mario, was arrested Wednesday by the National Police in San Jose in northwestern part of the country, Police Chief General Oscar Naranjo said.

The Colombian government had offered a reward of five billion pesos (about $2.08 million) for information leading to Rendon’s arrest. He is also wanted in the US for crimes in that country.

President Alvaro Uribe, who is currently on a visit to Brazil, said: “We spent all of the Holy Week (includes the religious holidays of Good Friday and Easter Sunday) monitoring the operation.

“The truth is that I felt a tremendous sense of relief for all of my countrymen when the news came in this morning … It shows what we can do, it shows that Colombia can finally rid itself of all criminality,” the Colombian leader told reporters in Rio de Janeiro.

Earlier, Naranjo had informed the president about Rendon’s capture.

Rendon was second-in-command of the militia group Elmer Cardenas Bloc, which is part of the United Self-Defence Forces of Colombia (AUC).

The AUC was accused of committing numerous human rights violations.

Colombia’s militia groups were formed by the government to fight against drug crimes in the country. However, after these groups were disbanded by the government some of the ex-militia groups got involved in the drug trade.

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