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July 09, 2012

Semana Mag: Three U.S. "cops" at wedding of "dead" Colombian drug dealer

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What were U.S. policemen doing at the lavish wedding of a “dead” Colombian narco-trafficker?

Colombia has been eating up details of the week-long wedding of Camilo “Fritanga” Torres, who allegedly ran drugs for the notorious Urabeño gang.

The usually low profile Fritanga brought more than 200 guests to the island of Múcura, off the coast of Cartagena, for a bash that featured models, actors and a line up of famous singers and bands.

 Fritanga (the name of a fried meat dish) had kept a low profile until the wedding, police said. Although he spent a stint in prison, he was released in 2009 before the courts reversed the decision and ordered his detention again. By that point a notary had certified that Fritanga had died Dec. 11, 2010.

Colombian police told Semana Magazine that when they raided the party at 4 AM on July 2, the guests thought the officers were just another part of the show. It wasn’t until they had the musicians on the ground and arrested the shirtless groom that the crowd reacted.

Along with actors, singers and other celebrities at the party, police told the magazine there were seven guests with U.S. passports, and that three of them claimed to be U.S. policemen. Their names have been turned over to the U.S. Embassy for verification, the magazine said.

Fritanga is wanted in the U.S. on drug charges, so it's feasible the men were in fact cops on some sort of under cover mission. 

The raid didn’t seem to dampen Fritanga’s spirits. According to the magazine, as guests applauded and toasted him, his last words as he was led away were: “Conocieron al parcero, al amigo, y seguiré siendo el amigo forever.” (Translation: “You met the buddy, the friend and I’ll keep being your friend forever.”)

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jim wyss

Inside South America is written by Jim Wyss, the South America bureau chief for the Miami Herald and McClatchy Newspapers.

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