Spain nabs fugitive Colombian drug gang leader

MADRID — Spanish police said they have captured the fugitive leader of one of Colombia’s most violent drug-smuggling gangs.

Cipriam Manuel Palencia Gonzalez, the boss of the Urabenos gang, is wanted for crimes that include the killing of a police officer in Colombia.

Palencia — whose underworld name is “Visaje,” according to a Spanish police statement — was nabbed Friday in Madrid while allegedly planning new drug-smuggling routes into Spain.


The 34-year old — who escaped from police custody in 2009 — fled to Spain after a shootout in Colombia in September during which the officer was killed, Palencia was wounded, and six of his gang members were arrested.

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An Interpol Red Notice was issued for Palencia’s arrest. Colombia links him to 10 other crimes, according to the police statement.

In a separate development, Venezuelan authorities on Saturday released a Miami Herald reporter they had detained two days earlier while he reported on the South American country’s economic crisis.

The Miami Herald reported on its website that Jim Wyss was released from a detention facility in Caracas and handed over to US Embassy officials.

Aminda Marques Gonzalez, Herald executive editor, said on the website that ‘‘Jim is safe and soon will be reunited with his loved ones.’’

Associated Press