Crime boss' body stolen from cemetery crypt by rival gangster for 'satanic ritual'
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The body of an Ecuadorian crime lord has gone missing, with rumours it's been stolen by a rival gang or for a satanic ritual.
Júnior Roldán, the former leader of a notorious Ecuadorian crime gang, was laid to rest in a cemetery in Colombia earlier this year after he was murdered in May. Yet workers in the cemetery found the gravesite open with no body on Wednesday morning.
It is reported that police told local media a group of men broke into the cemetery at night and took Roldán's body, as per the BBC.
Police have not yet confirmed who in fact broke in or whether the abduction of Roldán's body was the reason for the break in or the intended target.
Roldán was the co-founding leader of Los Choneros until his death on May 6. The gang are considered to be one of the most powerful gangs in Ecuador, with links to crime gangs and drug cartels all over the USA, Mexico and Columbia.
Named after their power base in the town of Chone, the gang mainly engages in drug trafficking and extortion.
After many of its members were jailed in 2022, it became one of Ecuador's most powerful prison gangs, controlling many aspects of life inside the country's penitentiaries and also directing criminal operations from behind bars.
As one of the highest ranking in the gang, Roldán's criminal record was lengthy including two murders. He was arrested alongside other gang members in December 2022, but was later transferred to house arrest because he was suffering from arterial hypertension, diabetes, grade 3 hepatic steatosis and liver cirrhosis.
Despite his lengthy list of crimes, his move was sanctioned after a judge claimed the gang leader's 'life and health (were) at imminent risk'.
He was yet again released in February and allowed to return home, which angered Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso. In a statement, he slammed the judge's decision as he said: "The Government of Ecuador declared war on drug trafficking, organized crime and anti-patriotic mafias that steal our peace and tranquility. And now a corrupt prosecutor and a bad judge are trying to free one of the most dangerous criminals in the country: Júnior Alexander Roldán Paredes, alias Júnior."
Despite being allowed home but ordered to wear a tracking advice in February, in March Roldán was declared to be a fugitive after his tracker went missing. He was nearly killed in March after a shootout left five people dead and six injured.
Roldán and the Los Choneros had rivalries with other gangs, including the Lobos, with rumours growing that they may be behind Roldán's missing body.
Roldán was murdered in May, with his body later found in a wooded area in Columbia's Antioquia province. The body was found to have fatal gunshots with forensic experts identifying the body from Roldán's tattoos and other identifying marks.