Ecuador: Colombian Cartel Leader Arrested

Published: 22 August 2013


Ecuadorian narcotics police arrested Jorge Dominguez Falla Elieze, one of the leaders of the Colombian group the Rastrojos, the Ecuadorian government said on Tuesday. The arrest is a significant blow to the already struggling organization that was once one of Colombia's most powerful cartels.

According to the El Comercio newspaper, the arrest was announced on Minister of the Interior Jose Serrano Salgado's Twitter account. Serrano added that Dominguez, one of Colombia's most wanted criminals, will be deported immediately. No details of the arrest other than the location, the coastal city of Manta, were given.

Dominguez, also known as "Palustre," headed a group of assassins before taking a leadership role for the Rastrojos, reports anti-crime reporting organization InSight Crime.

The cartel fell into disarray and waned in power following the arrest of former leader Javier Antonio Calle Serna. Calle Serna surrendered to US authorities in May 2012. However, the Rastrojos has remained a formidable force in southwest and south Colombia.

Colombian authorities tipped off Ecuadorian forces to Dominguez’s presence.