Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Money Launderer For The Sinaloa Cartel And CJNG Arrested In Colombia

"HEARST" for Borderland Beat

A horse and ostrich breeder who has been accused of money laundering for both the Sinaloa Cartel and the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generation (CJNG) was arrested in Colombia. 

Colombian Police officers captured Néstor Tarazona Enciso, the head of a  money laundering network on August 28, 2021. The arrest reportedly took place in the city of Pereira, capital of  the municipality of Risaralda. 

Under the Sinaloa Cartel 

He has previously been investigated for setting up a financial company in order to launder money for drug lord Joaquín Guzmán Loera, alias “El Chapo”, leader of the Sinaloa Cartel at the time of the company's founding. 

He has been on the radar of US law enforcement since the days of the Clinton administration. Colombian police released a statement saying “This person was convicted on two occasions for drug trafficking offenses in the United States and returned to the country [of Colombia] in 1995 to set up two companies for the purpose of carrying out fictitious maneuvers to launder assets.”

The statement is referencing the two companies he owned called Agropecuaria La Cruz S. A. and Criadero Las Cabañas Ltda. Both companies, and Néstor himself, were pointed to by the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) as part of the Sinaloa cartel's organizational chart and accused of providing material support to the cartel. 

Nestor can be seen on the right hand side of this 2009 US OFAC chart.

Agropecuaria La Cruz S. A. was  involved in distribution of agricultural products as well as horse and ostrich breeding. The Prosecutor's Office commented that they were struck by the fact that these companies dedicated to livestock and poultry farming were somehow operating solely out of apartments. 

Another of his companies, Criadero Las Cabañas Ltda., there were 23 walking equines (trot and gallop), 6 walking equines (trot and gallop), 24 walking equines (pure Colombian trot), 2 walking equines (Colombian Paso Fino), when the Prosecutor's Office considers that he did not have the income to buy those animals. This company, between the years 2001-2011, would have hidden over 1,328 million pesos from the Colombian government. 

Nestor with one of his horses.

The prosecutor pointed out that the company Agropecuaria La Cruz S. A. was liquidated in 2013, "that is to say that, for 15 years, Tarazona Enciso provided material support to the Sinaloa cartel through this front company". 

Under the CJNG 

Colombian police, as part of their official statement, said that “After the capture of ‘Chapo’ Guzmán in 2014, he suspended business with the Sinaloa cartel and offered his services to the Jalisco Nueva Generación cartel, in southeastern Mexico and became a partner of Guillermo León Acevedo Giraldo, known as 'Memo Fantasma'.” 

Guillermo León Acevedo Giraldo

Guillermo León Acevedo Giraldo was a powerful drug trafficker who for decades managed to remain under the radar, evading justice while allegedly trafficking tons of cocaine to foreign countries. In June 2020, Guillermo Acevedo Giraldo was captured by authorities while he was in Bogotá, the capital city of Colombia. 

It is estimated that he illegally increased his financial assets by more than 17,000 million pesos from the year 1999 until today.

"These illicit activities allowed Néstor Tarazona and Teresa Ortega (his wife) to increase their wealth in an unjustified manner and to acquire high value real estate and personal property, which are registered in the name of third parties that are part of their family nucleus", said the Prosecutor's Office during the indictment hearing. 

Vice-President Marta Lucia Ramirez and President Alvaro Uribe

Following his conviction in the US, Néstor Tarazona Enciso was able to thrive and prosper without law enforcement disturbing his operation for 25 years. He reportedly has ties to family members of the former President of Colombia Alvaro Uribe and Vice-President Marta Lucia Ramirez. 

In addition to the Sinaloa Cartel and the CJNG, Tarazona maintained criminal ties with the Cali Cartel and the criminal group of Los Puntilleros, according to the investigations of the Colombian Prosecutor’s Office. Néstor’s late brother Óscar Iván Tarazona Enciso was one of the trusted pilots of the Cali Cartel and Óscar Iván worked under Francisco Hélmer Herrera Buitrago, alias “El Pacho”.

Francisco Hélmer Herrera Buitrago, "El Pacho"


  1. Really hoping to get a Sicario 006 comment explaining the tactical utility of ostrichs in elite CDS special forces operations.

    1. Ostrich skin boots is actually a thing for some guys

    2. No no no. The tactical utility of live ostrichs being used as a battle mount, riding on their backs into combat.

    3. CDS sicarios tie kidnapped contras on the back of ostriches to cause a diversion during combat with rival lacras. By the time they realize it’s their counterparts they would have already been neutralized.

  2. So that's where the cartel sicarios are getting there ostrich boots from

  3. Our guidelines say we can cover stories related to "the drug war, organized crime activity, and the effects they have in Mexico and the US” so I think we can try to cover some more Colombian cartel activity if you guys want to see it.

    I mean, certainly lots of Colombian cartel news has relevant implications for Mexican drug trafficking.


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