Kidnapping and Murder of Inspector General Carlos Mauro Hoyos

From when he became Inspector General, Hoyos said he would never facilitate talks with the drug traffickers. Photograph: El Mundo.

When he was on his way to José María Córdova Airport, the Inspector General was attacked by Pablo Escobar’s hitmen. Photograph: El Mundo.

The Inspector General’s corpse was found in the municipality of La Cepa. His body was taken to Medellín, where his funeral was held. Photograph: El Mundo.

When he was travelling in a car, Inspector General Carlos Mauro Hoyos was shot by hitmen of The Extraditables group of drug traffickers, who kidnapped him and later assassinated him. His support of extradition caused his death.

On January 25, 1988, at 7 am, more than ten hitmen of The Extraditables group attacked the Mercedes Benz in which Inspector General of Colombia Carlos Mauro Hoyos Jiménez was travelling along the road from the municipality of El Retiro in Antioquia to José María Córdova Airport close to Medellín.

The criminals fired more than sixty bullets at the car in which he travelled with bodyguards Jorge Enrique Loaiza Hurtado and Gonzalo Villegas Aristizábal. In the attack, the official vehicle crashed and ended up in a ditch. The attackers got out of their cars and finished off Loaiza. Due to the impact of the crash, Villegas’ body ended up on the road.

Two hitmen quickly removed the 49-year-old Inspector General from the car and abducted him. He had serious injuries in one vertebra, thorax and right foot. Hoyos Jiménez was kidnapped for more than six hours at a country house one kilometer from Las Palmas Road on the outskirts of Medellín. At 2 pm, Pablo Escobar ordered his assassination, saying “Get rid of him”. His attackers fired 11 bullets into his head with a rifle.

His Support of Extradition

Hoyos Jiménez was a staunch defender of the extradition of Colombian criminals to the United States. When he was a member of the Chamber of Representatives, he voted for a draft bill that became Law 27/1980 or the Extradition Treaty. He considered that international measures were needed in the fight against this scourge. From the moment he became Inspector General, he refused to negotiate with the drug traffickers.

As well as his position on this topic, the decisions he made on matters related to drug trafficking, the trials of soldiers and self-defense groups, missing people, human rights and political crime put him in the criminals’ sights.

The Extraditables’ Plan

At 5 pm, the hitman Jhon Jairo Velásquez, also known as “Popeye”, called a radio channel “to report that we have executed the Inspector General for being a traitor” and revealed the place where the body of Hoyos Jiménez could be found. After a great search operation, the corpse was taken to Medellín in a helicopter.

This attack was part of the plan of this group of drug traffickers from different parts of the country to exert pressure and prevent the enforcement of the Extradition Treaty. With this aim, they kidnapped famous people in Colombia, including the politician Andrés Pastrana, who was attacked at his political office on January 18, 1988, eight days before the assassination of the Inspector General.

I would resign before changing my position.” Carlos Mauro Hoyos.

In the search operation for Hoyos Jiménez, which included inquiries in several country houses close to El Retiro, the authorities found the Bogotá mayor candidate Andrés Pastrana in a country house held by The Extraditables. He was released in exchange for the policeman Roberto de Jesús Zapata Cardona.

Dedicated to Service

Carlos Mauro Hoyos Jiménez was a judge and councilman of the municipality of El Retiro. He also worked as Inspector General, Comptroller and member of the Chamber of Representatives in the Liberal Party. In 1986, he tried to return to the Chamber of Representatives, but he did not achieve a seat. The same year he applied for the position of Inspector General and was selected from the shortlist of three candidates of President Virgilio Barco’s government.

He was known as the son of El Retiro. Although he was born in the municipality of Támesis in Antioquia, he dedicated a large part of his life to this community, where he went every weekend to his vacation home. His death caused dismay in this community of Eastern Antioquia. “El Retiro misses you” was written on a sign at his funeral.


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