RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – On Friday, August 13, the Colombian government extradited to the United States Elkin Javier López Torres, alias “La Silla,” a drug trafficker wanted by a U.S. court for crimes related to cocaine trafficking.
In a statement, Justice Minister Wilson Ruiz said that Lopez was extradited “to answer before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas on charges of conspiracy to import cocaine” into the United States.
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Lopez Torres, also known as “Double Wheel” because he gets around in a wheelchair due to a disability, turned himself in December 2019 to Colombian authorities after he developed kidney failure, for which he was hospitalized at the La Asuncion clinic in Barranquilla.
He was treated for kidney failure there, and authorities arrested him for aggravated criminal conspiracy and extortion.
Minister Ruiz added that the extraditee is also wanted for “concert to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine on board a vessel subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.”
Investigations indicate that “La Silla” is allegedly part of a narcotics trafficking organization and is “responsible for coordinating the transportation of drug shipments from Colombia to different countries around the world.”
Ruiz added that, according to the dossier, Lopez also “charged fees to other cartels for the use of drug export routes.^
According to figures from the Ministry of Justice, Colombia extradited 114 people between Colombians and foreigners to different countries around the world last year.
From August 7, 2018, to November 30, 2020, 379 people were extradited, 280 to the United States, 40 to Spain, 13 to Argentina, 10 to Brazil, and Ecuador, among other countries. Of these extradited persons, 326 are Colombians.