Colombia Confiscates Almost Two Tons of Cocaine
By Dialogo September 23, 2010The Colombian Navy confiscated 1,887 kilograms of cocaine being transported on a speedboat near a Caribbean beach, while the police expropriated from three fugitive drug traffickers assets valued at more than 110 million dollars, the authorities announced on 21 September.
Initially, a Navy patrol intercepted a speedboat carrying the cargo of cocaine in the Gulf of Urabá, near the border with Panama, and arrested the five crew members who tried to evade pursuit by the military authorities.
Defense Minister Rodrigo Rivera said that the confiscated drugs had an estimated cost of 38 million dollars on the international market.
“This seizure represents a serious blow to the finances of the Los Urabeños criminal gang, which has done so much damage in the country’s northwest,” the minister affirmed.
The illegal armed group to which Rivera referred is a drug-trafficking organization made up of former extreme-right-wing paramilitaries who failed to fulfill the terms of a peace agreement with the government and returned to illicit activities.
At the same time, the National Police and the Attorney-General’s Office expropriated 203 assets, including houses, apartments, farms, and vehicles, belonging to the fugitive drug traffickers Daniel Barrera, alias “El Loco Barrera,” and the brothers Javier Antonio and Luis Enrique Calle Serna, better known as the “Comba.”
The properties have an estimated value of over 110 million dollars.
Colombia is the world’s leading producer of cocaine with around four hundred metric tons a year, despite the efforts of Bogotá and the United States to reduce coca cultivation.
The price in Colombia for one kilo of cocaine is around 1,000 dollars, while in international markets one kilo can bring in up to 30,000 dollars, according to security sources.
In addition, Colombia’s geographic position, with two oceans on its shores, makes it a strategic location for trafficking drugs and arms.
According to the government, the drug business is currently controlled by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrilla group, groups of former paramilitaries, and cartels with ties to the Mexican cartels.
In 2009, the Colombian authorities confiscated more than 203 tons of cocaine, and the figure so far this year exceeds 90 tons.