Saturday, January 22

La Paca, one year from freedom


Francisca Cortés Picazo, La Paca, guarded by policemen in a trial at the Palma Court.
B. Ramón

Francisca Cortés Picazo, La Paca, begins to glimpse your access to parole by the end of next year 2022. The daily chores of the historic drug matriarch in the town of Son Banya, 66, are very different from the times when she led the largest drug trafficking network in Mallorca. Page caring for your grandchildren with the current third degree regimen penitentiary at the Joaquín Ruiz Giménez de Son Malferit Social Insertion Center.

On November 7, 2019, La Paca stepped on, which may be his last time, the Provincial Court of Palma. This time sat on the bench of the accused to answer for a crime of money laundering.

The huge capital amassed for several decades at the head of the largest drug trafficking business in Mallorca it came out then. Francisca Cortés never directly touched the drug, but he ran a network of a dozen figureheads for whitening all the colossal volume of money in banknotes accumulated. The sale in the town did not stop. Neither day nor night.

Banknotes found in 2009 under La Paca’s house. NATIONAL POLICE


The great obsession of La Paca throughout its long trajectory at the forefront of the drug in Son Banya was not stepping on the jail. In order to do this, they had had to dispose of a good part of their assets back in the year 2000. However, despite their efforts, he has not been able to avoid spending long periods behind bars.

Houses, cars and money

That November 7, 2019, La Paca reached its umpteenth agreement of conformity to see their grief lowered. This time it was before the First Section of the Palma Court. The pact materialized in a sentence of three years and three months. For this he had to face the payment of 12 million euros or face three more months in jail. The more than four million euros in banknotes that were seized after being discovered were also seized. buried next to their house in Son Banya. The numerous vehicles paid for with the drug money were seized. And the dozen front men acknowledged in court that their role was to put their name to launder the capital from drug trafficking.

Through them, Francisca Cortés had acquired four houses in the Palma neighborhoods of La Soledad, Son Gotleu and Son Cladera, another property in the municipality of Marratxí and a plot in Llucmajor. The meticulous police investigation revealed that La Paca was the true owner of all of them. It was at least the part of the Son Banya matriarch’s estate that they had managed to prove.

Despite its lack of studies and the burden of early motherhood at the age of 14, the closest environment and everyone who has dealt with La Paca highlights their innate intelligence. Something that he amply demonstrated to head the drug trafficking business for years in a marked macho environment. “I have never put a gun to anyone’s head to buy me drugs,” he presumes.

An mp3 in the cleavage

The sale of scrap metal with which it began to try to support its offspring was replaced at the end of the eighties by drug trafficking. From then on it went on to become the matriarch of drugs in Son Banya. Francisca Cortés always counted on timely tips. Good proof of this is that in Operation San Quintín carried out in 2001 against her, La Paca was not in the town.

His highest sentence was 16 years of prison with the so-called Son Banya case. She thought that she would not get to go to jail. The Paca recorded on an mp3, placed on the neckline of his daughter La Guapi, how the then head of the Group of Robberies of the National Police José Gómez Navarro extorted him.

The robbery of two drug addicts of seven million euros hidden in the basement of the town triggered a series of beatings and persecutions. The policeman offered to mediate to lower the sentence in exchange for a 600,000 euro bite. Collaboration with justice did not have the desired effect and Francisca Cortés Picazo went to prison.

A treasure trove of 4.3 million euros in banknotes covered by concrete

The coup de grace to the clan of La Paca was struck in July 2008 with the so-called ‘Operation Kabul’. An investigation by the Civil Guard culminated in the dismantling of the entire clan. The Hearing canceled the telephone jabs, but the Supreme Court validated them. Francisca Cortés Picazo was then sentenced to five and a half years in prison.

The drug matriarch was behind bars, but her hidden heritage lay in the Son Banya subsoil. It was necessary to use heavy machinery to be able to bring it to light.

The discovery was made in September 2009 while La Paca was behind bars. The National Police investigators knew exactly where to look. An annex of what was his home was his objective. A heavy concrete block prevented access and a large hole had to be made in the ground.

The ‘treasure’ then made its appearance. Five plastic boxes they were full of bills. Money unequivocally obtained from the continued sale of heroin and cocaine in the town. The state of conservation was not exactly optimal and many of the bills were already rotten.

The arduous task of counting the bills lasted several days, but it gave a dimension to the volume of business with the sale of drugs in Son Banya. In total there were 4.3 million euros in cash hidden. To that sum had to be added the one found inside La Paca’s house. There they were hidden 385,610 euros.

Under the booth of Beethoven, the dog of the historic drug dealer Another important part of the loot was hidden, more than seven kilos of jewels. It was the accumulated payment of the drug addicts to buy their dose.


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