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 Treasury Designates Most Wanted Colombian Drug Lords Allied With the FARC as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers


3/2/2010

Treasury Takes Action Against More Than 70 Individuals and Entities

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today designated Daniel Barrera Barrera and Pedro Oliveiro Guerrero Castillo, two of Colombia's most wanted drug traffickers, as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers (SDNTs) due to their significant roles in international narcotics trafficking.  OFAC also today designated 29 other individuals and 47 entities as SDNTs.  Today's action, pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act), prohibits U.S. persons from conducting financial or commercial transactions with these entities and individuals and freezes any assets the designees may have under U.S. jurisdiction.

Drug trafficking partners Daniel Barrera Barrera ("El Loco Barrera") and Pedro Oliveiro Guerrero Castillo ("Cuchillo") are among the most wanted drug traffickers in Colombia today. They operate primarily in the eastern plains of Colombia, between Bogota and the Venezuelan border, where they maintain a partnership with the FARC ( Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia), a narco-terrorist organization identified by the President as a kingpin pursuant to the Kingpin Act in 2003. The Colombian government has offered its highest reward – USD $2.5 million (5 billion Colombian pesos) – for their respective capture.

"Today's action strikes at more than 70 individuals and entities tied to Barrera Barrera and Guerrero Castillo," said OFAC Director Adam J. Szubin.  "Targeting drug trafficking networks allied with the FARC can disrupt and impede its deadly activities."

OFAC targeted key members of Barrera Barrera's criminal organization, including Danilo Bustos Suarez, Armando Gutierrez Garavito and Wilmer Ospina Murillo, who were captured by Colombian authorities in 2009 on drug trafficking and/or money laundering charges.   Three of Barrera Barrera's most important money launderers, Jaime Jerez Galeano, Oscar Alberto Jerez Pineda and Oscar Richard Martinez Arango were also designated today, in addition to front persons Jesus Antonio Bernal Londono, Hernan Dario Arango Madrigal, Mesias Salamanca Buitrago and Jose Lenoir Aguilar Duarte.   Jesus Antonio Londono Zapata, an ex-representative to the elected assembly of the Colombian department of Meta, is another front person for Barrera Barrera also designated today.   He is a fugitive in Colombia based on money laundering charges stemming from his activities on behalf of Barrera Barrera.   Designated companies linked to Barrera Barrera's organization include Herjez Ltda.(a.k.a. Carnes Cuernavaca) and Comercializadora de Carnes MGCI Ltda. (a.k.a. Carnes El Proveedor C F P; Carnes La Mundial M.A), meat distributors in Bogota, and Blue-Star Seccion Hosteleria S.L., a small hotel near Madrid, Spain.

Pedro Oliveiro Guerrero Castillo is the leader of an illegal armed group known as ERPAC ( Ejercito Revolucionario Popular Antiterrorista de Colombia), which also was designated today.   ERPAC operates in eastern Colombia to protect coca crops and drug trafficking routes and is categorized by Colombian authorities as a BACRIM ( Banda Criminal).    Also designated today are two key front persons for Guerrero Castillo, Oscar de Jesus Lopez Cadavid and Nebio de Jesus Echeverry Cadavid, who are shareholders in Proveedores y Distribuidores Nacionales S.A. (a.k.a. Prodisnal S.A.), which operates the supermarket chain Supermercados El Proveedor located throughout eastern Colombia. Both individuals previously served as governors of the Guaviare department in eastern Colombia.   Colombian authorities arrested Lopez Cadavid in 2009 for conducting illicit activities on behalf of Guerrero Castillo and continue to investigate Echeverry Cadavid for the same reasons.

OFAC worked closely with the Drug Enforcement Administration on this investigation.   Today's action is part of ongoing efforts pursuant to the Kingpin Act to apply financial measures against significant foreign narcotics traffickers worldwide.  Internationally, more than 500 businesses and individuals associated with 82 drug kingpins have been named since June 2000.  Penalties for violations of the Kingpin Act range from civil penalties of up to $1.075 million per violation to more severe criminal penalties.  Criminal penalties for corporate officers may include up to 30 years in prison and fines up to $5 million.  Criminal fines for corporations may reach $10 million.  Other individuals face up to 10 years in prison and fines pursuant to Title 18 of the United States Code for criminal violations of the Kingpin Act.

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