World

Colombia takes over the management of a drugstore chain of Cali Cartel leaders

Fachada de uma das mais de 400 lojas da rede de farmácias na Colômbia, em 2004.
Facade of one of more than 400 stores of the pharmacy chain in Colombia, at 2022.| Photo: EFE/Carlos Durán

14172556A court authorized the extinction of the ownership of the assets of Drogas La Rebaja pharmacies, which were one of the great symbols of the Cali Cartel empire, one of the largest drug trafficking networks in Colombia. With the decision in the second instance, of the Superior Court of Bogotá, the drugstores will be under state control.

Gilberto Rodríguez Orejuela, who died in May in a prison in the United States and was the main leader of the cartel, founded the pharmacy chain in the 1990s 1970, and she ended up becoming one of the biggest in Colombia. It currently has more than 600 stores, despite the stain due to its origins linked to drug trafficking and other illegal activities, the which led her to be on the Clinton List, the US government’s list of people and companies linked to drug trafficking.

After the fall of the Cali Cartel and its leaders, the drugstore chain was left in an administrative limbo that was resolved with the creation of a workers’ cooperative that bought it from the Rodríguez Orejuela family .1417255614172556To date, Copservir continues to manage the company together with the Special Goods Society (SAE), linked to the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit, which manages the assets seized for drug trafficking activities, with which it signed an agreement last year. Gilberto, along with his brother Miguel, managed dozens of companies with which he laundered money, including La Rebaja, Blanco Pharma and Kressfor Laboratories.

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