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News > Latin America

In Peru, Fears a Drug Kingpin Could Order Crimes from Prison

  • Drug Lord Gerson Gálvez alias

    Drug Lord Gerson Gálvez alias "Caracol" arrested | Photo: Agencia Andina

  • Arrival to Peru of Drug Lord Gerson Gálvez alias

    Arrival to Peru of Drug Lord Gerson Gálvez alias "Caracol" | Photo: Agencia Andina

  • Drug Lord Gerson Gálvez

    Drug Lord Gerson Gálvez "Caracol" receiving preventive sentence. | Photo: Agencia Andina

Published 2 May 2016

Most wanted South American drug lord was arrested again but had previously “escaped” from prison through the main door.

Gerson Gálvez, an alleged Peruvian drug kingpin best known as "Caracol," will be detained at a maximum security prison for 18 months while he awaits trial, according to Julio Magan, director of the National Penitentiary Institute.

Peruvian 'El Chapo' Found in Colombia and Promptly Deported

Gálvez will be held in a prison known as Piedras Gordas I under a so-called preventative sentence—but there are concerns that the prisoner, deported on Sunday from Colombia, will still be able to communicate with fellow criminals and order futher crimes.

The prison is located in the district of Ancón, about an hour and a half away from downtown Lima. Gálvez spent his first night back in Perua at a police jail but will be transferred soon. Although, Piedras Gordas I is considered a maximum-security location, prosecutor Lucio Sal y Rosas has requested that Gálvez be sent to another penitentiary called Challapalca.

The reasoning, according to Sal y Rosas, is that Challapalca has the facilities to be able to isolate Gálvez from other criminals who may otherwise act as his accomplices and send orders from him outside of the prison, enabling him to continue controlling the violent drug trade. Peru is the number one exporter of cocaine in the planet.

Peruvian 'El Chapo' Wanted for 101 Homicides in Peru

Gálvez was captured in Medellín, Colombiam on Sunday afternoon while he was shopping at a public mall. He was arrested as a result of an intelligence operation of Interpol in collaboration with the Colombian police. Gálvez arrived in Peru via an Air Force plane. He was the most wanted drug trafficker in Peru and the state was offering US$150,000 for information on his whereabouts, a hefty sum by Peruvian standards only exceeded for those wanted for terrorism.  

The Public Ministry is asking for 25 years in prison for Gálvez for the crimes of drug trafficking, illicit association to commit crimes, and extortion. Gálvez is thought to be the leader of a gang called Barrio Kings that has engaged in coercion, targeted murders and drug trafficking in connection with the Colombian trade. 

Security concerns regarding where Gálvez will be placed also have to do with the shadowy manner in which he obtained freedom before his previous sentence was finished. Gálvez earlier received a 15 year sentence that started in 2003. However, he was let go in October of 2014 by prison authorities. The prosecutor believes that Gálvez bribed those authorities to obtain his freedom.

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