Old school

1958-2010 (Via Periodico El Sol)

Former Colombian drug lord Evaristo Porras Ardila died last week of a heat attack, without a penny to his name. He was 62. Porras was one of Colombia’s original drug traffickers, from the generation of Pablo Escobar. He had a mansion modeled on the one from U.S. soap opera Dynasty (Escobar’s was based on the one from Scarface). He supposedly controlled the whole Amazon region in the southern part of Colombia, where his gang both produced coca paste and ferried it in by river from Peru, Ecuador, and Brazil.

Porras became a household name in Colombia in 1983 when he tried to frame hard-charging Security Minister Rodrigo Lara for taking bribes. Lara threw it back in the narcos’ faces by going after them even harder. Lara was murdered in 1984 by hitmen working for Escobar.

When Porras was arrested for drug trafficking in 1995, he had a panic attack and told authorities that if his face appeared in the media, he would kill himself. He was convicted and spent 20 years in prison. Colombian authorities confiscated US$4.2 million worth of assets from the man. His family claims that when he got out of prison in 2006, he was destitute:

The formerly powerful and feared narco was trying to get back the old Mauris Building (which has 18 apartments and three storefronts) located in Leticia, as well as an apartment on 127th Street in Bogota, where his wife – Luz Marina – lives, and where he died last Wednesday. “He didn’t even have anything to eat. Even though he won the lottery three times, they took everything from him,” said a family member.

That’s right, they say US$423,000 of his cash was from winning the lottery. Three times. For some reason, the government didn’t buy it. Despite his arrest and destitution, Porras’ family continued to control politics in his home turf until recently, with his brother Iván serving as mayor of the Leticia department from 2005 to 2007.

RIP, I guess.

  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • del.icio.us
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

Related posts:

  1. Displaced for gold?
  2. FARC: Now dealing in death, antiquities
  3. Animal rescue in Colombia
This entry was posted in Colombia, War on drugs and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Warning: Illegal string offset 'solo_subscribe' in /home/thegringo/latamdaily.com/wp-content/plugins/subscribe-to-comments/subscribe-to-comments.php on line 304

Subscribe without commenting

  • DAILY LINKS

    • The Nation has a long, wonky, wonderful article on Mexican maize cultivation, the effects of NAFTA, and the dangers of genetically-modified seeds. Author Peter Canby backs up his excellent writing with piles and piles of meticulous research. Not to be missed. [link, via SM] (Image from Joel Penner.)

    • Cuban dissident Guillermo Farinas ended his hunger strike yesterday after 134 days. Farinas decided to end his strike after the Cuban government said it would release political prisoners rounded up in the "Black Spring" crackdown of 2003. Get well soon. [link]

    • The Uruguayan selection, which has made it to the quarter finals of the World Cup, just received a shipment of half a ton of fine cuts of beef for the mother of all asados in preparation for a contest against Ghana on Friday: "450 kilos of lomo, 200 of entrecot, 75 of vacío, 75 of colita de cuadril, 150 of ojo de bife and 50 kg of picaña." [link]

    • Hitmen have assassinated the PRI candidate for governor of Tamaulipas State, Rodolfo Torre Cantú. Torre was gunned down along with six others at about 10:30 this morning on a highway on the way to a campaign event. Drug mafias are assumed to be responsible. [link]

    • From the days when coups were something of a regional sport, new documents detail a famous British ballerina's role in a plot to topple the government of Panama. The plan was to use her yacht to gather men and arms, then "land somewhere and collect in the hills." It didn't work. [link]

    • Mexico's Attorney General's Office has posted on its web site irrefutable evidence that gold-plated AR-15s and diamond-studded pistol grips are not nearly as cool-looking as they sound. The deadly knick-knack collection is said to belong to Valencia Cartel leader El Lobo. [link]

    • Two Brazilian ranchers were sentenced to 30 years in prison apiece for ordering the killing of an environmentalist nun: "Prosecutors said the pair offered to pay a gunman $25,000 to kill the 73-year-old [Dorothy] Stang because she had prevented them from stealing a piece of land that the government had granted to a group of poor farmers." [link]


    • This video of a kidnapping and car chase in Mexico is notable mainly for the bad-assitude of the TV journalists who were on this like white on rice. Well done, gentlemen.

    • The Economist takes a peak at the Mockus phenomenon in Colombia: "His moustacheless beard gives him the air of a Baltic pastor... He is financing his campaign with a bank overdraft. His supporters rely on Facebook and make their own posters; street vendors sell unofficial campaign T-shirts." [link]

    • Some cruise lines will cease traveling to Antarctica after this cruise season, as a ban on the use and carriage of heavy fuel oil goes into effect next year. The ban came after a 2007 incident when a Gap Adventures ship got punctured by ice and sank, causing a mess. [link]