Colombia: Brother of deceased socialist leader Piedad Córdoba sentenced to 14 years in prison for drug trafficking in the United States

This is Álvaro Córdoba Ruíz, who conspired to traffic cocaine into the country along with people associated with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

Álvaro Córdoba Ruíz, brother of the late Piedad Córdoba, a controversial socialist senator who was linked to the FARC, was sentenced to 14 years in prison for drug trafficking in the United States.

The office of Damian Williams, prosecutor for the Southern District of New York, stated that Córdoba Ruíz conspired with his co-defendants and other people associated with the guerrilla group Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) to supply and distribute tons of cocaine to the United States.

According to the official statement, the brother of the controversial Piedad Córdoba, who was questioned during her life for her links with the FARC, negotiated drug trafficking with undercover DEA sources who posed as drug traffickers for the Mexican DTO. This drug trafficking organization allegedly sought to establish a cocaine supply line from Venezuela to the United States.

Córdoba Ruíz was recorded agreeing to help the DEA covert organization by offering logistical support from Colombia thanks to his political connections.

According to the report, Piedad Córdoba’s brother then put the undercover sources in touch with a Colombian politician, “conveying that, in exchange for financial and political support, the politician would help to facilitate a cocaine partnership between the defendant, his co-conspirators, and the confidential sources purportedly functioning as the Mexican DTO.”

Likewise, the convicted man also put the undercover individuals in contact with other people who offered to provide large quantities of cocaine and security for the promised cocaine shipments.

Subsequently, in December 2021, Córdoba Ruíz wanted to demonstrate the quality of the product and his good faith by proceeding to sell a sample of five kilos of cocaine to undercover DEA sources.

Laboratory tests showed that the cocaine had a purity of between 86.6% and 89.1% and came from a farm associated with the FARC on the outskirts of Medellín, one of the most important cities in Colombia.

Finally, at the end of the investigation, Córdoba Ruíz was detained in Colombia in February 2022 while negotiating a larger partnership with the alleged Mexican DTO that was waiting for a shipment of approximately 500 kilograms of cocaine per week destined for the United States.

“Today’s sentence demonstrates this Office’s commitment to prosecuting drug traffickers like Córdoba Ruíz, who seek to import tons of cocaine into the United States. Those who seek to flood our streets with narcotics will face serious consequences, especially when they partner with violent drug trafficking organizations like the FARC,” said prosecutor Damian Williams.

“I commend the efforts of our law enforcement partners and the career prosecutors of this Office who work tirelessly to investigate and disrupt these complex drug importation networks. Their work has a profound impact on countless lives in our communities.”

The sentence against Córdoba Ruíz came after he pleaded guilty in January to conspiring to traffic cocaine into the United States and confirming that he was aware that what he was doing was a crime.

“I participated in a conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine that were going to be sent to the United States and I knew that what I was doing was wrong,” he said.

Two weeks after Córdoba Ruíz pleaded guilty, his sister Piedad died at the age of 68, defending her “innocence.”

The former socialist senator was involved in multiple scandals throughout her extensive political career, which ended with accusations of corruption, illicit enrichment and contacts with FARC, the organization with which her brother conspired to bring tons of cocaine to the United States.