When a Miami-Dade Circuit Court judge in 2015 awarded Antonio Caballero $191.4 million for the kidnapping, torture and death of his father at the hands of Colombian guerrillas and drug-trafficking groups, few thought his legal team would be able to collect.
After all, how do you find the funds of rebels known to stash cash deep in the jungle?
But Caballero’s lawyers managed to follow a serpentine trail of drugs and money that went from Colombia’s heartland, through Mexican cartels, into a Texas armored-car company and, finally, into Florida bank accounts.
Earlier this month, they were able to seize just under $1 million dollars, and they hope that’s just the beginning.
Recovering less than 1 percent of a judgment may seem like a modest success, but Caballero, who lives in South Florida, calls it a clear victory.
“It’s not about the money,” Caballero, 59, said by phone. “This shows that lives cut short by violence aren’t forgotten…This has returned my faith in justice.”