Petaco Barrientos: from managing the Patronato bar and the sale of drugs in Paraná to being riddled with bullets by five hitmen

Barrientos, when he was arrested and sentenced
Barrientos, when he was arrested and sentenced

He only had seven months left to regain his freedom. To go back for everything, as he dreamed. But outside the jail there were many people who did not want things to go back to the way they were before, when the head of the brava bar of Patronage, Gustavo Petaco Barrientos, dominated by blood and fire not only the platform but also the drug trafficking business in Paraná and its adjacencies, and his pulse did not tremble to order an assassination or do it personally if someone dared to challenge him in any of his multiple illegal activities. Thus, on Saturday afternoon, in one of the family outings authorized by the Justice and as he recounted yesterday infobae, a group of five hitmen posing as police officers who were conducting a search broke into his home, breaking the door and when they spotted him, they executed him with a burst of bullets. The most famous barrabrava in Entre Ríos was ending his days. But the war, it is said, has just begun.

Petaco did not really start out as a strong man in the Patron’s tribune, but rather took his first steps as a common criminal. Born in Chajarí in 1976, he moved to the capital of Entre Ríos in his youth and began to show his talent for setting up criminal gangs in the Municipal neighborhood, which became his homeland. According to police reports, he had a predilection for pharmacies and electrical appliance stores and little by little he was also inserting himself into soccer. But before turning 30 he was arrested and in jail he met and made good friends with several bars of Colón de Santa Fe. There he understood that there was a less dangerous business and just as or more profitable than armed robbery: taking a bar of soccer. And that could also give him high-level political and police contacts. So, when he left it, he decided to forge his new destiny with an initial army of 50 people from the neighborhood that was later expanded with people from other neighborhoods, such as Lomas del Mirador and Hijos de María. When he discovered that he had more than 120 people in charge of him, he stormed the Strong Bar, as the violent group of the red and black team is called, and from there he built an empire. He first became strong in the club, then he expanded into the drug trafficking business with the fall of his rivals. And by 2010, just with the team’s promotion to Nacional B, Gustavo Barrientos crowned himself as the man with whom everyone had to negotiate, whether in football or on the street.

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More intuitive than rational and more violent than a strategist, Petaco also quickly approached politics. The flags in support of former governor Sergio Uribarri waved in the popular and were his letter of introduction that he brandished at all times. But like all barras, his political affiliation was unstable: when it was necessary to negotiate with the government of Sergio Varisco in Paraná, he did it from prison to such an extent that he put his own brother, Rubén, to accompany him in the territory, gathering people for him. and putting security. It was a perfect alliance to expand in the territory distributing what the drug produced. A true scandal that demonstrated the infinite power of him.

Little by little, Petaco was also gaining ground in the club. From managing the resale of tickets, illegal merchandising, food and drink stalls and unofficial clothing, he began to interfere in passes and player percentages. His standard of living grew so much that in the usual neighborhood, the Municipal, his house stood out from the rest due to its size, design, and surveillance camera system. Until there, police chiefs, politicians and heads of other First and National team bars paraded seeking to generate new business. So much impunity led Barrientos to believe that nothing could happen to him. In two years, all those who wanted to stand up to him were falling for hitmen who always went into oblivion. Until that power intoxicated him beyond measure: he managed the distribution of marijuana and cocaine and exerted such a level of violence on his rivals that he said he was the Pablo Escobar of Argentina, as the investigative journalist from Entre Ríos, Daniel Enz, narrated. in his book “The children of Narco”.

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That was generating a wave of resentment and incidents began to happen. On the field and in the streets. Until he decided to set an example for everyone and went directly to murder two people, Maximiliano Godoy and Matías Giménez, who had supposedly mexicanized a drug deal for him. One of them died instantly, the other, Matías, survived for ten days and managed to identify him. It seemed like the end of him, but no. Because even though he went to jail at the end of 2012, he continued to manage the entire criminal organization from there. So much so that he managed to hold a demonstration with more than 200 people through the streets of the city asking for his release. In an abbreviated trial, he agreed to a sentence of 11 years in prison for the double crime and settled comfortably in a cell in Gualeguay, where he had three cell phones at his disposal, the possibility of watching his team’s matches, had political flags and He continued to run the drug business. He named as his second of him in the paravalanche to Hugo Ceolawho faithfully followed all his orders and when he ended up in prison a couple of years later, decided that the inheritance should remain in the family and put his nephew as leader, Paul Oliveraalias Pelado, who reported to him every week the collection from the field and from the street until in mid-2018 he was also arrested in a case for another crime.

It was thought that by disarming the family structure Petaco would lack power but he continued to maintain it with his people from the Municipal neighborhood, for which reason the Justice decided to transfer him to the Ezeiza federal prison to reduce his extramural relations in the province. There, cracks began to open in the army that he commanded and, although he continued to be respected, he saw how other players took over a certain part of the territory. It was then that he demonstrated his power once again: he managed to get him relocated to Entre Ríos, first in Gualeguaychú and since last year in Paraná, from where he sent daily messages that he was about to leave and that they should hold on, because he was coming back for everything. , by the grandstand and by the street. His rivals knew that Gustavo Petaco Barrientos was a man of his word: what he said, he fulfilled. So, before his release was formalized, they took advantage of an authorized family visit, they had the information of where he was going to be and they shot him. Thus, at the age of 47, the maximum bar that the province of Entre Ríos had ended as determined by the popular saying: who kills with iron, dies with iron.

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