In early December 2021, the Chilean Ministry of the Interior and Public Security announced in a statement the seizure of 3,500 kilograms of creepy marijuana, described as the most important seizure in the country in the last two years. The seizure was made in the Valparaíso region under Operation Cerbero, after months of investigations.
Specialized anti-drug work coordinated among the Valparaíso Regional Office of the Attorney General, the Chilean Navy’s General Directorate of Maritime Territory and Merchant Marine (Directemar, in Spanish), and the Chilean Carabineros’ (Chile’s national police) OS7 Anti-drug Department disrupted a narcotrafficking organization of Colombian citizens residing in the country, which operated between Colombia and central Chile, the Ministry said. In addition, authorities were able to identify how the criminals coordinated their activities in Chile to receive and commercialize the drug.
In a statement, Directemar said that 10 people had been arrested during the operation, all Colombian nationals, who were brought to justice and placed in preventive detention for a 90-day investigation period.
According to reports from the Chilean newspaper La Tercera, the Valparaíso prosecutor explained that the drugs were shipped on October 26, in southern Colombia, and were delivered to a vessel that transported them to Chile, in the northern area of Chacalluta. The newspaper said that the operation was carried out with the support of prosecutors from other countries, including Peru and Ecuador.
In early November, the criminal organization began to make preparations to distribute the drug, but the Carabineros and the Navy already had the gang in their sights, with undercover agents and the use of drones and special cameras. “This way, and after recognizing the people who were behind this shipment, [authorities] carried out an operation on November 26, just as 900 kg of the drug were being delivered to two distribution groups in Chile,” La Tercera reported.
Inspector General Esteban Díaz, deputy director of the Carabineros, said that the Colombian gang “intended to settle in Chile, but was completely dismantled.” Meanwhile, Minister of the Interior Rodrigo Delgado highlighted the complexity of the investigation, as it entailed coordinating interagency work not only at the national level, but also worldwide.
“Today, the triad of weapons, violence, and drugs suffers a major setback, and it is an important message to those international organizations that want to bring drugs into Chile, so that they can think about it more than once,” Delgado said, according to La Tercera.