Peru intelligence publishes list of top alleged narcos


César Cataño Porras of Peruvian Airlines is a new addition to the "white list" of alleged drug lords. (Photo: El Comercio)

In 2010, heads of Peru’s main intelligence organizations met to compile a so-called “white list” of the country’s alleged leaders of narcotrafficking, which was kept secret until now.

El Comercio gained access to the document, called “Update on persons registered, identified and indicated as directors or heads of illicit drug trafficking (IDT) nationally and internationally,” also known as the Peruvian Kingpin Act (in reference to a similar list produced by the U.S. government).

A first-time name on the list is that of Adolfo Carhuallanqui Porras, who received attention in 2009 when the anti-drug unit of the Peruvian national police began trailing his vehicle importing company and, later, his air travel company Peruvian Airlines. Porras changed his name to César Cataño Porras after being linked to drug trafficking in 80s. Most worrisome are his strong links to ex-Lima mayoral candidate Lourdas Flores Nano and ex-chief of financial intelligence Carlos Hamann.

Another recent addition to the list is Fidel Sánchez Alayo of Juanjuí and the infamous La Libertad clan, who was linked to family disputes that caused the death of his uncle at a cocaine laboratory in Mexico in the 1980s. His father Segundo Manuel Sánchez Paredes and his uncles Santos Orlando and Fortunato Wilmer Sánchez Paredes have been included on the list since 2007. Several testimonies from confessed narcotrafficking agents link him to money laundering schemes and transport of drugs into the U.S.

Miguel Arévalo Ramírez, known as “Eteco,” appears on the list for the fifth consecutive time. Ramírez, owner of Central America’s Atlantic Airlines, has previously come under investigation for money laundering, and in 2003 his brothers-in-law were arrested with several kilos of drugs in Chiclayo.

Also on the list is Jair Ardela Micchue, who leads via hired assassins the wave of violence along the border of Peru, Brazil and Colombia. He is wanted by the Brazilian police since 2008 for the assassination of a Peruvian anti-drug official in Tabatinga, though there is no arrest warrant for him in Peru. Another name is that of Gualberto Mejía Estrada or “Gabino,” the powerful rancher of Huallaga, accused of money laundering and of being a ringleader for the Shining Path group “Artemio.” “Artemio” himself, along with his ex-ally and now enemy “José” (head of the terrorist faction in VRAE, the central jungle region of Peru) complete the Peruvian Kingpin Act.

The “white list” is drawn up by representatives from the intelligence department of the Ministry of the Interior, the anti-drug unit of the national police, the anti-terrorism agency and the public ministry. It is based on legal and fiscal documents as well as domestic and international intelligence reports. It was created in 2002 and is continually updated to reflect new known drug lords as well as members who are now in prison.