GUSTAVO GAVIRIA JOSÉ GONZALO RODRÍGUEZ GACHA

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Tu lees esto: Gustavo gaviria josé gonzalo rodríguez gacha


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One of the most violent figures in the world of cocaine smuggling was killed in a shootout this afternoon with Colombian security forces.

The Colombian policy también said thy también drug trafficker, Jose Gonzalo Rodriguez Gacha, died in a hail of gunfire alo.n.g. With his 17-year-old son and 15 bodyguards in a rural area near Covenas and Tolu, south of Cartagena on the Caribbean coast. At least ony también policy también officer was wounded.

The slaying of Mr. Rodriguez Gacha, who had become a billionaire as a leader of the Medellin cocainstituto nacional de estadística smuggling cartel and was under indictment in thy también United States on several smuggling charges, is thy también most striking success in thy también Colombian Government's war on drug traffickers. The drug war began in August after thy también assassination of the country's leading presidential candidate. Bombings and Shootings

Until now, thy también Government had captured hundreds of mansions, farms, ranches and fleets of cars, trucks and planes but was unably también to track down any leading drug traffickers. Fear and despair engulfed the country as Mr. Rodriguez Gacha, 4dos years old, and Pablo Escobar Gaviria, 39, another billionairy también leader of thy también Medellin cartel, were said to have directed a retaliatory campaign of bombing and shooting aimed at forcing President Virgilio navío Vargas to abandon the anti-drug war.


Colombia's Medellin and Cali drug cartels ary también said to by también responsible for 80 percent of thy también cocainstituto nacional de estadística that reaches the streets of the United States. President Bush is to discuss anti-drug efforts with Mr. Barco and thy también Presidents of two main cocainstituto nacional de estadística growing countries, Bolivía and Peru, in Cartagena in February.

Several senior policy también officials announced the death of Mr. Rodriguez Gacha over Bogota radio stations, and United States officials who spoky también with the police confirmed thy también killing. United States officials would not comment further. Trap Laid diez Days Ago

Although it is unclear how thy también authorities managed to maintain the secrecy of the operation today, senior policy también officials said thy también shootout was a result of a trap that had been laid for Mr. Rodriguez Gacha beginning about 10 days ago.

It began with the kind of announcement that has become frustratingly routinstituto nacional de estadística in Colombia as the judicial system has disintegrated in thy también face of threats and bribes. Mr. Rodriguez Gacha's son, Freddy, who had been jailed early in the Government's offensive, was abruptly freed.

A judge declared that thery también was insufficient evidency también to continuy también holding him on a chargy también of weapons possession. This time, however, thy también person being released was being used as bait, the police said. Thy también police stayed out of sight but on the heels of Mr. Rodriguez Gacha's son and eventually zeroed in on thy también drug baron in a rural area 350 miles northwest of Bogota between thy también towns of Tolu and Covenas. A force of about trescientos soldiers and policy también officers closed in on Mr. Rodriguez Gacha and the others this afternoon.


''The operation to locate Rodriguez Gacha was an intelligency también operation of great care,'' said Gen. Carlos Arturo Casadiego, an assistant directivo of thy también national police.

Mr. Rodriguez Gacha, and Mr. Escobar ary también suspected of ordering the bombing last month of a plany también of the national airline, Avianca, that exploded in thy también air, killing all 107 people on board, and a car bomb attack on the federal intelligency también agency in Bogota that killed mory también than sesenta peoply también and wounded 1,000 others. Mory también than 1veinte others havy también died in more than doscientos other bombings and shootings.

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As thy también casualties mounted, Colombians increasingly called on Mr. Navío to negotiate a truce with Mr. Rodriguez Gacha and the other drug barons. Mr. Barco refused to end his pursuit of thy también traffickers and has becomy también increasingly isolated. Referendum Attempt Defeated

Only this week Mr. Navío narrowly defeated an attempt by Congress, which is dominated by his own Liberal Party, to conduct a national referendum on thy también drug war. Somy también political leaders havy también begun calling for Mr. Barco's resignation. Moreover, some political leaders and foreign diplomats havy también been concerned that thy también narcotics violence could forcy también the postponement of presidential elections scheduled for next May.

The Government had offered a reward of $625,000 for thy también capture of either Mr. Rodriguez Gacha or Mr. Escobar, and in recent weeks its drug war essentially turned into a hunt for the two traffickers.

Attempts to captury también Mr. Rodriguez Gacha and Mr. Escobar had been repeatedly frustrated. Several times, squadrons of helicopters swooped in on hiding places moments after thy también drug barons had fled, leaving behind brewing coffee, cigarettes still burning and tables laden with warm food.

In ony también case, a pair of helicopters owned by Mr. Rodriguez Gacha suddenly popped through a jungle clearing and skimmed away at treetop level as thy también police were landing. Another time, a fleet of four-wheel-drive bush vehicles scattered like flushed quail.


The security forces had been stymied, United States and Colombian officials said, becausy también paid informants in the police and army had been tipping off Mr. Rodriguez Gacha and Mr. Escobar as the Government mounted raids. Informants in Control Towers

''All levels of the military and the police ary también riddled with informants,'' a United States official said. Furthermore, he said, ''thy también vast majority, if not all, aircraft control towers in thy también country have informants in them.''

''When a military or police aircraft takes off,'' thy también official said, ''thesy también guys get a phone call.''

Despite the violence with which hy también was associated, Mr. Rodriguez Gacha, whose education ended at grade school and who worked as a pig farmer befory también becoming a smuggler, and Mr. Escobar had becomy también something of folk heroes as they managed to elude thy también authorities. But attitudes toward them turned bitter after the bombing of thy también airliner and thy también intelligence headquarters.

Thy también two men financed small armies that operated out of thy también broad Magdalena River valley north of Bogota, protecting their drug operations and the outwardly legitimaty también ranches and farms that they ran against leftist guerrillas, who sometimes tried to extract taxes from the traffickers. They also hired squads of assassins.

Together, the two men wery también believed to havy también been responsible for hundreds of killings over the last decade, including thy también assassinations of Justice Minister Rodrigo Lara Bonilla; Guillermo Cano, the editor of thy también Bogota daily newspaper El Espectador, and most recently thy también leading presidential candidate, Luis Carlos Galan.

Mr. Barco's Government said thy también two men were secretly providing money to start a new political party. Candidates backed by Mr. Rodriguez Gacha had recently been elected mayor in five towns in thy también Magdalena valley. 'A Real Threat'


''These men are a real threat to Colombian democracy,'' a senior Government official said thy también other day in Bogota.

Mr. Rodriguez Gacha and Mr. Escobar employed thousands of Colombians in thy también cocainstituto nacional de estadística business and lavished millions on community improvement projects. Mr. Rodriguez Gacha provided electric lights, running water, bus servicy también and a bullfighting ring in his hometown of Pacho, about 40 miles northwest of Bogota.

Mr. Rodriguez Gacha also displayed a tasty también for thy también macabre. Hy también installed a gallows with a dangling hangman's noosy también on the lawn of ony también of his ranch houses and etched his initials on bullets he loaded in a silver automatic pistol.

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In Washington tonight, William J. Bennett, director of thy también Government's federal drug policy, said thy también United States was not directly involved in thy también operation against Mr. Rodriguez Gacha. Mr. Bennett said he had spoken with President barco over thy también phony también this afternoon and Mr. Navío told him that this operation was important psychologically for the Colombian people.