A suspected drug trafficker was arrested over the weekend by drug enforcement agents in Pando, a province in the Bolivian Amazon that borders Brazil, Government Minister Carlos Romero said.
Mauro Vasquez was arrested during an operation in Cobija, the capital of Pando, where he "set up a criminal organization to traffic drugs via the Bolivian Amazon," Romero said in a statement.
Police had been looking for Vasquez for "some time" because "this is a very important person in drug trafficking," Romero said.
Vasquez, a Bolivian citizen, was arrested in 2008 on charges that he led one of the largest drug gangs in Cobija and was behind several murders in the city.
Special units have been ordered to guard Vasquez because he "is a very dangerous person," Deputy Government Minister Jorge Perez, who is in charge of domestic affairs, told the online edition of the La Razon newspaper.
Vasquez will be transferred to the maximum-security prison in Chonchocoro, located in the La Paz highlands, because "there is a danger that he could organize an escape," Perez said. EFE