Nicaraguan Police Kill Infamous Gang Leader

September 24, 2004

GRANADA – Notorious Nicaraguangang leader Eugenio “El Guatuso” Odilónwas shot and killed by police during aconfrontation Sunday morning in the rurallakeside municipality of Morrito, in thesouthern department of Río San Juan.Wanted for multiple murders, kidnappingsand aggravated assaults, Odilón, 42,is perhaps most infamously known for hismid-1996 kidnapping of two Dutchtourists in northern Costa Rica (TT, Sept.20, Dec. 27, 1996).Odilón was arrested in Nicaragua in1996 after assaulting a landowner innorthern Rio San Juan. He served jail timebut managed to escape two years later.A warrant for his arrest was pendingat the time of his death, after a joint policeoperation between the departments of RíoSan Juan and Chontales finally caught upwith his gang, according to NationalPolice spokeswoman Miriam Torres.Police in the southern zone said theyconsidered Odilón to be the most dangerouscriminal operating in the area. Anunknown number of other gang membersescaped Sunday’s shootout with police.At the time of his death, Odilón wascarrying a bag with close to $800 in cash,which is thought to be ransom paid by thefamily of a kidnapped landowner in June,according to the daily La Prensa. He wasalso wearing a wristwatch that was identifiedby another nearby farm owner whoreportedly was kidnapped last April.–Tim Rogers

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