January 20, 1992 |
The Colombian government has ordered a security crackdown at the facility holding Pablo Escobar amid continuing reports that the imprisoned boss of the Medellin cocaine cartel is running his criminal business through visits from subordinates, including wanted terrorists. "The idea is to convert this facility into a true high-security prison," Justice Minister Fernando Carrillo said in an interview last week, hours before announcing new security measures at the hillside jail near Medellin.
January 18, 1992 |
Although "based on true events," NBC's "Drug Wars II: The Cocaine Cartel" has dramatic license and composite character scrawled all over it like graffiti. Within its factual outline, reality and fantasy mingle confusingly. At whatever cost to historical accuracy, however, its first of two parts, airing at 9 p.m. Sunday on Channels 4, 36 and 39, is a boiling caldron of suspense, a fiery account of efforts by the embattled Colombian government and the U.S.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 9, 1992 |
The FBI announced Wednesday that it had cracked a Los Angeles drug network, with ties to the Medellin cartel, that distributed 50 tons of cocaine and made $30 million in profit during the last decade. The Justice Department has charged six people in Los Angeles and Anchorage, including three here on Wednesday. Three ringleaders have been arrested, but three remained fugitives, FBI spokeswoman Karen Gardner said.
November 26, 1991 |
A former high-ranking official of the notorious Medellin drug cartel testified Monday that he and his associates contributed up to $10 million to the Nicaraguan Contras in the mid-1980s. The witness, Carlos Lehder, suggested the purpose of the payment might have been to assure Contra protection of cocaine shipments bound for the United States through Costa Rica.
November 22, 1991 |
International drug trafficker Carlos Lehder testified Thursday that U.S. authorities offered him a "green light" to smuggle cocaine into the United States if he let them use his island in the Bahamas to run guns to the Nicaraguan Contras. Lehder, a witness in the federal trial of former Panamanian strongman Manuel A. Noriega, said that the U.S. vice consul in Cali, Colombia, made the offer in 1982. Accompanying the official was a man presented as his superior.
November 21, 1991 |
Playing the role of a latter-day Joseph Valachi, Carlos Lehder held a federal courtroom spellbound Wednesday as he revealed the secrets of a murderous cartel that ruled the drug world for more than a decade. Like Valachi, the American mobster who ripped the veil of secrecy from the inner council of the Mafia at nationally televised Senate hearings in 1963, the dark-haired Lehder became the first Colombian mobster to speak with first-hand authority about Manuel A.
November 20, 1991 |
Carlos Lehder, the only leader of Colombia's Medellin drug cartel in U.S. custody, was put on the witness stand Tuesday to add to the mass of government evidence against deposed Panamanian dictator Manuel A. Noriega. Lehder, 42, who was extradited to the United States in 1987 and convicted of conspiracy after a seven-month trial, said that Noriega--being tried on drug-smuggling and racketeering charges--was known as "just a corrupt police official" as early as 1981.
November 13, 1991 |
Colombian drug barons contracted terrorists to kill Manuel A. Noriega in 1984, believing he had betrayed them to U.S. authorities, a witness testified in the ex-Panamanian leader's drug trial in Miami. That account by confessed Colombian drug trafficker Cesar Cura differed from that of previous witnesses. Cura said he attended meetings with the Medellin cartel's Ochoa family in which they targeted Noriega after May, 1984, raids on a drug lab in Panama and on cocaine-refining chemical shipments.
November 5, 1991 |
Just over a year ago, this walled bastion of colonial architecture was playing out its historical role as a city under siege. During past centuries, the foes outside Cartagena's fortress walls were English pirates and other foreigners seeking to sack the city's riches. The more recent enemies--drug traffickers and their terrorist allies--attacked from positions within Cartagena's walls.
October 29, 1991 |
The grim-faced man in the open-collar khaki shirt had just testified about delivering a package of "drug money" to former Panamanian dictator Manuel A. Noriega. Although the witness--Noriega's former military aide, Lt. Col. Luis del Cid--had insisted that there was money in the package, defense attorney Frank Rubino got him to admit he could not be sure what was inside because he had not opened it.