Photo: Edison "Pichi" Rodolfo Rojas Captured
A man suspected of being the leader of Colombia’s Oficina de Envigado gang was arrested over the weekend by the National Police in Panama, officials said.
Edinson Rodolfo Rojas, who faces drug charges in Colombia, was captured in a joint operation conducted by Panamanian and Colombian drug enforcement agents, the National Police said in a statement.
Rojas, known as “Pichi,” was arrested Sunday afternoon in Brisas del Golf, a subdivision in San Miguelito, located about 13 kilometers (eight miles) east of Panama City.
The Colombian national faces drug, criminal conspiracy and murder charges in his homeland.
Rojas allegedly murdered two police officers in Medellin, the capital of the northwestern Colombian province of Antioquia, and was behind the massacre at a ranch in the city of Envigado in late 2012, officials said.
Ten Oficina de Envigado members were murdered at the ranch on Dec. 31.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos thanked Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli and authorities in the Central American country for their assistance in capturing Rojas.
“Congratulations to the Police for the capture in Panama of alias Pichi, the successor to Sebastian in the Oficina de Envigado. GOOD BLOW!!” Santos said in a Twitter posting.
Rojas is behind much of the violence in Medellin, police said.
The Oficina de Envigado, created in the 1980s by late Medellin cartel boss Pablo Escobar, is involved in drug trafficking and other criminal activities.