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Jose Gonzalo Rodriguez Gacha

Jose Gonzalo Rodriguez Gacha , also known by the nickname El Mexicano, was a Colombian drug lord who was one of the leaders of the notorious Medellin Cartel along with the Ochoa brothers and Pablo Escobar. At the height of his criminal career Rodriguez was acknowledged as one of the world's most successful drug dealers. In 1988, Forbes Magazine included him in their annual list of the world's billionaires.U.S. Congress, Office of Technology AssessmentInformation Technologies for the Control of Money Laundering OTA-ITC-630, Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, September 1995

By 1989, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) estimated that 80 percent of cocaine consumed in the United States was imported from Colombia by the Medellin cartel and its rival, the Cali Cartel. The newly elected administration of President George H.W. Bush was under considerable pressure to combat the increasing drug usage and drug-related violence plaguing scores of American cities. Much of the government strategy concentrated on restricting drug supply by extraditing Colombian cartel leaders to the United States for prosecution. On August 21, 1989, Attorney General Dick Thornburgh released a list of the twelve Colombian drug kingpins (commonly referred to as the "dirty dozen") most wanted by the United States and said the names would be shared with the Colombian government and Interpol. The list included Pablo Escobar, Jorge Luis Ochoa, and Jose Gonzalo Rodriguez,, the leading members of the Medellin cartel.

President Bush declared money laundering a critical target in the war on drugs, allocating $15 million to launch a counteroffensive. Only hours after Bush unveiled his antidrug offensive in September 1989, a federal task force began taking shape. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN) was designed to zero in on money launderers with computer programs capable of spotting suspicious movements of electronic money. On December 6, 1989, Attorney General Dick Thornburgh announced that authorities had frozen accounts in five countries holding $61.8 million belonging to Rodriguez Gacha. According to the Justice Department, the money represented long-term high-yield stocks and investments and was held in bank accounts in England, Switzerland, Austria, Luxembourg and the United States. An additional $20 million of Gachas drug money was suddenly transferred to Panama, where it was protected from American authorities.Jonathan Beaty and Richard Hornik, 'A Torrent of Dirty Dollars', TIME Magazine, Posted June 24, 2001

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