CUENCA DIGESTArrested last week in Guayaquil, major Latin America drug kingpin lived a quiet life in Cuenca

Apr 26, 2011 | 0 comments

On Monday, Ecuadorian authorities delivered Colombian drug trafficker and an alleged leader of the criminal gang "La Cordillera," Jhon Jairo Vasco Lopez, to their Colombian counterparts.

Vasco, alias "Nico," will be transferred to a courthouse in Bogota to answer questions relating to the alleged crimes of drug trafficking and multiple homicides he is said to have committed in several South American countries.

According to Colombian authorities, Vasco was one of the top drug figures in South America and his arrest was an unexpected coup for law enforcement. Vasco had been living quietly in Cuenca for more than a year, managing operations in Lima, Bogota, Guayaquil and Quito. Police are seaching his westside Cuenca apartments in the La Cuadra and Palermo condominium complexes. They say there is no evidence that he was involved in criminal activity in Cuenca.

Nico was arrested in the Jose Joaquín de Olmedo International airport in Guayaquil, Ecuador on Wednesday April 20 while carrying false documents.

Nico was the second-in-command of La Cordillera, but took over leadership when the group's head, "Niño Fabian," was arrested early last month in Colombia.

Nico, who is also said to have been part of the now demobilized paramilitary group the AUC, having worked under the command of "Macaco" in the Central Bolivar Bloc, was originally arrested by Colombian police in March 2009, but later released due to procedural mistakes during the arrest.


Cuenca postal service users are complaining of lost and delayed international deliveries and are blaming a new centralized mail system for the problem.

According to post office officials, Ecuador began routing all international package deliveries through Guayaquil in July. Although the system was intended to streamline deliveries, the opposite has happened. “We are getting many more complaints about undelivered and late deliveries than we did before,” said a postal service employee who asked not to be identified. “Our experience is that anything routed through Guayaquil is much more likely to be subject to theft or delay.”

Among postal service clients most affected are medical patients who receive medicine and supplies from overseas. One client reported receiving an insulin shipment from Australia two months late. “This can be life threatening situation for some people," said the postal worker.

Officials in the Azuay governor´s office have sent letters to national postal authorities calling for a return to the previous, direct mail deliery system.


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