The end of one of Colombia’s most powerful drug lords came with the drop of a judge’s gavel in Miami. It marked the official end of the Medell
Velazquez was a major figure in Colombia’s drug trade, importing cocaine and laundering money. He became a symbol of the country’s violent narcotrafficking and ruthless gangland warfare. His death was a major blow to the cartel and to the war on drugs, which he helped lead.
He served just three-quarters of a 30-year sentence for his role in the 1989 murder of presidential candidate Luis Carlos Galan. A judge discounted his time for good behavior, allowing him to be released early. But the release was controversial. Critics argue that the government should have kept him in prison until he completed his full sentence.
In a freestyle music video posted on YouTube, the rapper named “N-Real” (his real name is Nelson Hernandez) mentions Barrio El Calvario, a neighborhood where gangs are present. The state says this incites terrorism and promotes terrorist violence, according to an arrest report obtained by The News & Observer. The family said the police profiled Hernandez because of his dark complexion and his tattoos — which include a clown, marijuana leaf, rose, dollar sign and his ex-girlfriend’s name.
Hernandez, who grew up in Raleigh and moved to Nahuizalco several years ago, worked one season at Clemson handling all team video needs and four seasons at Utah State where he was responsible for film exchanges and the videoing of games. He is bilingual and has a deep understanding of Latino communities, having worked in both regions as a professional journalist.