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Major Colombian Drug Trafficker Detained in Nicaragua

Amauri Carmona Morelos in 2009 holding his fake Nicaraguan cedula (ID) in the name of Alberto Ruiz Cano. LA PRENSA/ARCHIVO J. UBIETA

TODAY NICARAGUA (Insightcrime.org) Nicaragua’s authorities have detained Amauri Carmona Morelos, putting an end to the criminal career of one of the most prominent drug traffickers operating in the Central American country.

Carmona, a Colombian drug trafficker known to have established a fake identity in Nicaragua as Alberto Ruiz Cano, was captured on February 7 and has been detained in a prison in the Nicaraguan capital of Managua ever since, reported La Prensa.

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It is still not clear where exactly Carmona was captured and who conducted the operation that led to his arrest, as Nicaragua’s Army and Police have refused to reveal further information.

However, La Prensa reported Carmona was captured by Honduran security forces, who then handed him over to Nicaragua’s police.

Walpasiksa, the town where Morels’ led a group that in 2009 ambushed a navy patrol and killing two soldiers.

Carmona’s capture is the final chapter in the story of one of the major foreign operators in Nicaragua, who allegedly ran the first drug trafficking organization (DTO) in the Northern Caribbean.

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Originally from San Andrés, Colombia, drug trafficking runs in the Carmona family tree, as his father was reportedly linked with the Cali Cartel, a defunct Colombian DTO. Authorities believe Carmona was a member of a DTO that smuggled drugs through indigenous villages in Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast.

While the group’s headquarters were allegedly located in Nicaragua’s North Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAN), a strategic hub for many of the country’s criminal networks, Carmona was believed to move frequently between San Andrés and Honduras. The Colombian national also allegedly owned a nightclub in Managua, which he used as a strategic spot to negotiate the price of narcotics and organize cocaine shipments.

Carmona’s clashes with Nicaraguan authorities reached a peak in December 2009, when the drug trafficker was allegedly involved in a violent confrontation between the Walpasiksa indigenous community and Nicaragua’s Naval troops. Civilians ambushed the anti-drug unit that had arrived in the area to look for a downed narco-plane. Three Naval officers were killed during the attack, which authorities believe Carmona ordered in order to protect the area as a base for drug trafficking operations.

Article originally appeared on Insightcrime.org and is republished here with permission.

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