Latin America & Caribbean

Ecuador extradites Peruvian 'drug lord' Gerald Oropeza

Gerald Oropeza (second from right) is guarded by police before being handed over to Peruvian authorities in Huaquillas, Ecuador, on 13 September, 2015. Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Mr Oropeza was heavily guarded during the transfer from Ecuador to Peru

Ecuador has extradited a Peruvian man who is accused of being one of Peru's most powerful drug dealers.

Gerald Oropeza had been on the run for five months when police detained him in the Ecuadorean beach resort of Salinas at the weekend.

He is suspected of smuggling large amounts of the drug in containers from Peru to Europe.

In 2013, Peru overtook Colombia as the largest producer of cocaine in the world, according to the United Nations.

Heavy security surrounded his transfer to Peru, with Mr Oropeza wearing a bullet-proof vest and a helmet.

As well as drug trafficking, he is being investigated for murder.

'No resistance'

Peruvian Interior Minister Jose Luis Perez Guadalupe said police had traced Mr Oropeza to Salinas and arrested him with the help of their Ecuadorean colleagues on Saturday.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Mr Oropeza was arrested while walking along the beach

Mr Oropeza, who was taking a stroll along the beach in flip flops and shorts, did not offer resistance.

Police had become suspicious of Mr Oropeza after he was attacked by gunmen believed to belong to a rival gang.

The assailants threw grenades at his Porsche on 1 April.

Mr Oropeza managed to escape the heavy gunfire which followed the grenade attack.

His lavish lifestyle and love of luxury cars and beautiful models prompted Peruvian media to call Mr Oropeza "Tony Montana" after the drug-dealing character in the film Scarface

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