Too big to jail: the Colombian drug lord who snitched his way to freedom

The Economist

Illustration Corey Brickley for The Economist

A senior member of the Medellín cartel conned American and Swiss authorities, framed the Mexican president’s brother, destroyed a private Swiss bank, and brought down the Attorney General of Switzerland.

And they let him walk free.

In fact, they paid him for it. Governments across the globe spend millions of dollars a year on criminal informants, creating a system where–for big fish like José Manuel Ramos–crime truly does pay.

Read the feature investigation with Swiss journalist Daniel Amman in The Economist’s 1843 Magazine. [A Vespucci Story.]