The Colombian Army, in coordination with the Office of the Attorney General, arrested Mario Mauricio Morán, alias Camilo 40, head of the criminal group Los Contadores, a dissident faction of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC, in Spanish). Authorities made the capture in Valle del Cauca, on September 3, 2021, the Office of the Attorney General said in a statement.
According to the Army, the leader’s capture disrupts the command, control, and expansion of narcotrafficking routes in the west of the country. Camilo 40 controlled strategic corridors to the Pacific coast and commercialized cocaine hydrochloride in the western mountain range, the institution added.
“This major blow has a profound impact on […] the intentions and the expansion of Los Contadores and alias Camilo 40, to control illicit crops and narcotrafficking on Nariño’s Pacific coast,” Colombian Minister of Defense Diego Molano told the press.
Tumaco is the main port for drug exports in the department of Nariño. Authorities “estimate that nearly 300 tons of coca leaf leave its coasts each year, which is equivalent to 80 percent of everything produced in Colombia.” This activity is under the control of dissidents of the FARC and the National Liberation Army (ELN, in Spanish), the Colombian website Crudo Transparente reported. From there, Los Contadores smuggle the drug into Central America and the United States, the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo reported.
Terror in Nariño
Los Contadores are as ruthless as the paramilitary during the worst years of the conflict, the Colombian magazine Semana reported. The “bloody structure” is the creation of José Albeiro Arrigui, alias Contador, a bloodthirsty narcotrafficker that authorities captured in Caquetá in February 2020, with Camilo 40 then taking command of the group.
Camilo 40 is responsible for several collective homicides in areas of the Pacific, “which generated terror among peasants and Afro-Colombian communities,” Molano said.
In addition, the criminal caused the displacement of inhabitants in Sabaleta, Tumaco, due to turf wars over those territories with Oliver Sinisterra, a FARC dissident group, in July 2021, the Army added. Authorities estimate that at least “12,000 people were displaced,” Molano said.
The Office of the Attorney General reported that alias Camilo 40 likely ordered the assassination of the indigenous social leader Rodrigo Salazar Quiñones, in Tumaco, on July 9, 2020.