Bogotá, Colombia.- The body of Ecuadorian Junior Roldán, feared former leader of the Los Choneros criminal gang, was illegally exhumed outside Medellín, the Police reported on September 13.
In the morning, an employee of the Envigado cemetery informed a priest that one of the entrances to the cemetery was opened without permission.
“When the father entered, he saw that (…) the body” of Roldán was missing from the vault where he was buried at the beginning of May, the Metropolitan Police of Aburrá Valley, where Envigado (a neighbor of Medellín, north -west).
Roldán, alias JR, is a fugitive from Ecuadorian justice. In February 2023, he was released from prison in Guayaquil – the center of operations of many drug trafficking gangs – and received the benefit of conditional freedom, in a decision criticized by the President of that country, Guillermo Lasso .
In March he was the target of an armed attack in which he was injured and the prison authorities lost track of him. Two months later, Colombian authorities found his body with a gunshot wound to the head in a rural area in the northwest of the country.
Since no one claimed the body, it was taken to the Envigado cemetery on May 18.
Alias JR is accused of several murders, attacks and massacres committed in the Ecuadorian prison system.
Converted drug strongholds, Ecuadorian prisons have been the scene of several massacres that have left more than 430 inmates dead since 2021, dozens of which were dismembered and burned.
After the assassination of Los Choneros leader Jorge Luis Zambrano in 2020, the organization split into several factions, according to local press.
Roldán, Zambrano’s former lieutenant, continued to form Las Águilas, while Adolfo Macías, alias Fito, began to command Los Fatales.
Macías, imprisoned since 2011, was transferred to a maximum security prison after the assassination of presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio, shot by hitmen in Colombia at the beginning of August, a few days before the first round.
During the campaign, the politician reported that the chief threatened to kill him.
Macías’ transfer was overturned this week by the courts, more than a month before Ecuador’s October 15 presidential runoff.
Due to the violence of drug trafficking, Ecuador is facing an increase in homicides, extortion, kidnapping and drug trafficking, in which local gangs allied with organizations from Colombia and Mexico participate.