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Thanatos, the capo visited by a US lawyer with false papers – Investigation – Justice

Through the corridors of La Picota prison, an American lawyer slipped into the highest security wing of the prison, went to visit Jesús Hugo Berdugo Chávezwhom the records place under the alias of Tánatos or Anyi, an inmate accused of being a powerful capo who serves as a link to the Sinaloa Cartel in Colombia.

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That signaling has him about to be extradited to the United States.

However, what set off the alarms of the authorities —on three different fronts— is not his conduct or the details of the encounter, but the fact that Todd C Yoder, The lawyer in question, on Wednesday, November 16, managed to pass a security filter with a document that they denounce as false.

The Prosecutor’s Office and the Attorney General’s Office already have a preliminary report that could lead to sanctions for those involved in the controversial entry.

Pending further results in the investigation, the episode has been handled with complete secrecy by the National Penitentiary and Prison Institute (Inpec). Only a statement was made known from the entity two days after admission, in which they gave few details, among them, that the official whose signature was supplanted was going to file a criminal complaint for falsification of a public document.

Along these lines, this newspaper learned that Inpec, the Prosecutor’s Office and the Attorney General’s Office already have a preliminary report that could lead to sanctions for those involved in the controversial entry. Of course, in case an irregular action is found, since the day they realized the error -due to a dragoneante who warned-, no major irregularity was found to prosecute the American.

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The key pieces that the agents have been analyzing this week are made up of security cameras andThe paper in which the signature of the surveillance captain of La Picota was forged, a flyer that was used for Todd C. Yoder to achieve his goal of meeting with the alleged ‘narco‘ requested in extradition by the Court for the Southern District of Florida, for a charge related to drug trafficking.

As a result of this activity, this noted capo, arrested in January 2020, would have amassed a fortune that spread through various departments of the country with houses, mansions, luxury cars and even farms.

At the time, the Dijín and the United States Anti-Drug Agency (DEA) emphasized that the preferred way of ‘Thanatos’ when committing crimes caught the attention of investigators because his drug trafficking network used the latest technology to send semi-submersibles with drugs, which started from the Pacific and stopped in Mexico, where they transshipped the hundreds of kilos to their final destination.

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Todd Yoder, United States attorney.

In dialogue with EL TIEMPO, the lawyer who is in the eye of the hurricane said he was one more victim. He said that his presence in the High Security Pavilion of La Picota is due to the fact that a colleague of his invited him to see the file of a prisoner requested for extradition, which he did not see as something irregular.

The person who accompanied him is the lawyer Tatiana Calderónwho is also mentioned in the preliminary report on the case.

Neither of the two lawyers spoke about the details of the meeting, but they did make it clear that they had nothing to do with the falsification of the entry ticket and that they are available to the authorities when required.

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“I do not know the mechanism for entering La Picota. I handed in my passport and my professional card and the person who was with me took care of the paperworks. I didn’t sign anything. I even went in, listened to the person we were going to visit and only after leaving did I know that there was an alleged irregularity”, replied Todd C. Yoder, who has represented several people prosecuted in Colombia.

One of his clients was Jorge Enrique Pérez Ruiz, owner of the then West Caribbean airline, who was sentenced to five years in prison.

They rotated the staff

Calderón maintains that he has already contacted Inpec to clarify what happened, and that they were only able to enter the High Security Pavilion until 2 in the afternoon.

Inpec’s first reaction to the entry of Todd C. Yoder was to report that his own team had reported the situation. Indeed, the lawyer managed to enter and an official alerted around noon that there was something strange on the strip that the system throws.

Faced with this episode, the authorities will be the ones to pronounce. For now, the American’s colleague maintains that she has already contacted Inpec to clarify what happened, and that they were only able to enter the High Security Pavilion until 2 in the afternoon.

Faced with the case under analysis, EL TIEMPO obtained a response from Inpec, an institution that recalled that it hopes to send a strong message of zero tolerance for corruption and that, in fact, it has already taken some actions.

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“Respecting due process and without intending to affect security, an important action that the prison management carried out was the rotation of personnel and the delivery of the minutes or control books to new control panels with the aim of streamlining the work and improve the security process,” read the response.

For his part, the lawyer Tatiana Calderón He expanded his message in the sense of making it clear that the request he made to the prison directors is that they “explain why other lawyers have entered with American and Colombian colleagues as if they were investigators, without requiring their credentials.” Meanwhile, investigators are examining other names mentioned in the bogus ticket scandal to pinpoint any possible wrongdoing.

The power of the kingpin

In a raid against drug trafficking in the western part of the country, Jesús Hugo Berdugo Chávez was captured along with four other people on trial for alleged drug trafficking. His arrest, in particular, took place in Cali in 2020 and a clue to his whereabouts was that the network in which he would be involved had the habit of using decoys for his illegal business.

This is supported by the monitoring that US agents and the Attorney General’s Office carried out in Colombia, where they found that they initially sent a boat with up to 400 kilos of cocaine, and only an hour later the largest shipment arrived. In other words, the first shipment was only the distraction for the coastal authorities of the merchandise that they sent by tons —in their second attempt— by another route to Central America.

(Read: Two prosecutors filed a complaint for alleged irregularities in the OPA by Nutresa)

For 2020, the data for lDijín was classified as the “Tánatos” network as an organization that in a year and a half managed to seize 39 tons of cocaine in the United States, valued at about 460 million dollars.. Likewise, they were seized by six semi-submersibles that gave an account of the power that the organization would have.

Even the warning of the then director of the Dijín, Colonel Gelber Hernando Cortés Rueda, was to say that after the coup of the five arrests, they were going to concentrate on “detecting the assets of those captured so that they enter the extinction of domain.”

The Prosecutor’s Office confiscated luxurious properties from alias Tánatos.

Alias ​​Tánatos tried to prevent his extradition to the United States by going to the Special Jurisdiction for Peace

What is at stake in the case of ‘Thanatos’ is not negligible. Two years ago, in a sweep that they did to his finances, they found, in nine months, 276 assets valued at more than 40,000 million pesos. The location of these was primarily Cauca and Valle del Cauca, where the organization of which he would be a part doubled down to monopolize land in coca-growing enclaves in the south and at the same time indulge in the pleasures of living in the best sectors of municipalities such as Jamundí or Santander de Quilichao.

On those goods, the Prosecutor’s Office imposed precautionary measures for the purpose of extinction of domain, a measure that did not rule out for other phases of hunting the fortune of ‘Tánatos’.

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The aggravating circumstance against him is that in 2018 he was captured by the Anti-Narcotics Police, and that time, with a controversial maneuver, this man managed to be granted the benefit of jail time, from which he continued at the head of the illegal business.

In fact, it was from that year that the United States began to follow him with greater intensity. Between March and December, through speedboats he would have managed to transport 12,000 kilos of cocaine to Central America and the United States.

The data is part of the 35-page document with which the Supreme Court endorsed his extradition request for charges related to drug trafficking on June 15, 2022. EThis green light was given after the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) passed through its Review Room the extradition request for ‘Tánatos’.

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And it is that this man tried to entangle his shipment to the United States through a Non-Extradition Guarantee, having passed through the ranks of the then FARC. In fact, they were able to prosecute him for the crime of rebellion, since the authorities realized that Jesús Hugo Berdugo “was a militant of the Farc front 30 and transported narcotics, arms and ammunition, and logistical material from Nariño to Nariño by land and river.” Valle”, according to the March 4 order.

Finally, upon concluding that the occurrence of the crimes for which they are requested from Florida occurred after the signing of the Peace Agreement, the JEP lHe told the Court that he would not grant the benefit to ‘Thanatos’, for which reason the way was cleared in ordinary justice for his extradition to be carried out.

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In this, he is also related to intercepted audios of Édison Washington Prado, an alleged capo known as the ‘Ecuadorian Pablo Escobar’ who had conversations that allegedly place Berdugo Chávez as a high-level “maritime trafficker” in the region.

justicia@eltiempo.com
​@JusticiaET

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