The Colombian Army, Navy, and National Police are relentlessly combating the criminal structures and illicit economies of the Clan del Golfo. Between March 16 and April 2, authorities carried out five operations in which they captured 35 of the criminal group’s members, including several of its leaders.
The Colombian Navy reported April 2, dismantling a camp of Clan del Golfo leader alias Firulais in the municipality of Nuquí, Chocó department. In the operation, authorities neutralized two criminals and captured three persons. In addition, authorities seized assault rifles, more than 2,200 cartridges, and six explosive devices.
Alias Firulais is accused of controlling narcotrafficking in the region, recruiting and indoctrinating children and young people from the coast of the Chocó department, and coordinating attacks against security forces, the Navy said.
In Medellín, Antioquia department, the Attorney General’s Office announced March 29 the capture of Juan Camilo Molina Medina while he attempted to meet with leaders of other criminal groups in the region.
According to the Attorney General’s Office, Molina was a high-value transnational narcotrafficking target. He is accused of moving more than 15 tons of cocaine to Panama and the United States in less than three years and is wanted for narcotrafficking in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.
On March 27, the Army reported the capture of Jorge de Jesús Vallejo Alarcón, alias El Viejo, leader of the Clan in the village of Murrí, Antioquia department. Alias Chilapo, alias Árabe, and alias Toreto accompanied him.
El Viejo and his gang were active in the departments of Antioquia, Sucre, Bolivar, and Magdalena, Colombian Army Colonel Jhonny Bustos Rivera, commander of the Fourth Brigade’s 32nd Infantry Battalion, told Infobae.
On March 25, police in Valle del Cauca captured Mayesti Martínez, alias Maye, a logistics leader of the Clan del Golfo, who operated in three municipalities in the Nariño department, reported Colombian magazine Semana.
“This woman was in charge of storing and selling narcotics, storing supplies and uniforms for the logistics chain, and intelligence and information on the movements of security forces,” Colonel Nelson Parrado, commander of the Valle del Cauca Police, told Noticias RCN.
On March 16, the Colombian National Police reported the capture of 24 members of the Clan del Golfo in Bogotá, Barranquilla, Cartagena, Santa Marta, Cali, and the San Andrés Archipelago, with support from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
Among those arrested, 10 persons are wanted in New York and South Florida courts, accused of sending 5 tons of cocaine per month from San Andrés and Cartagena to Central America, bound for the U.S. and Europe.
Alexander Simanca Cabrera, alias Simanca or Don José, stands out for being one of the leaders of the Clan del Golfo in the Caribbean Coast and the Magdalena Medio region. Juan José Valencia Zuluaga, alias Falcón, had declared him his successor following his May 2021 capture. Falcón is accused of being the confidant and financing arm of alias Otoniel, top leader of the Clan del Golfo, himself captured in October 2021.