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Columbia’s drug lord sentenced to 35 years in United States

Colombian drug lord, Don Mario (center), understand tight security when he was arrested.

A Colombian criminal gang head, and drug lord, has been sentenced to 35 years in the US, after he pleaded guilty to many offenses, including murder charges.

The Colombian paramilitary head, Daniel Rendón Herrera, better known as Don Mario, was the leader of the right-wing paramilitary group United Self-Defence Forces (AUC), formerly known as Auto-defensas Gaitanistas. During the time he was at the helm of AUC, Rendon Herrera imposed hefty taxes on any left-wing group that had stood on their way.

The main reason why the right-wing group was formed was to fight a left-wing guerilla, but the Colombian drug lord had other ideas up his sleeves. Instead of clamping down the impact of the guerilla effects, the right-wing group started to engage in kidnappings, killings, and extortion within their territory.

As part of that paramilitary group, they led thousands of fighters who attacked and killed anyone they deemed to be a sympathiser of Colombia’s left-wing rebel guerilla group. To further its hinous acts, the group imposed taxes on drug traffickers who were operating within the territories that the group controlled – making hefty cash that they’d then use to finance their AUC group.

Together with his brother Fred, also known as El Alemán (The German) for his love of imposing strict discipline on his men, they were the players in the AUC.

Don Mario was arrested in 2009 in a rural setting in Colombia. In 2018, the drug lord was extradited to the United States, and in last year, the drug lord was charged after he pleaded guilty for having taken part in smuggling more than 80 tonnes of cocaine to the US.

Colombia is known for drug trafficking. Indeed, any drug lord, in any part of the world, is probably having strong connections with individuals in Colombia.

Before his ultimate capture in 2009, his brother, Fred, had already been demobilised in 2003, but Don Mario had stood his ground. As police stepped up their hunt for Don Mario in 2009, the drug lord had even offered a $1,000 reward to anyone who killed a police officer.
After a nine-month search, he was tracked down in Antioquia province.

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