Colombia Finds OAS Insignias in a Drug Vehicle

By Dialogo
April 04, 2013


Colombian authorities found a vehicle that appeared to belong to the OAS mission in support of the Colombian peace process, and which was also adapted to transport drugs, the Prosecutor’s Office reported on March 2.

The vehicle, with insignias of the Organization of American States (OAS) and a fake license plate exclusively used by diplomatic delegations in Colombia, was found by agents of the Prosecutor’s Office in the city of Cali.

Agents discovered nine hidden compartments for transporting drugs, according to a statement released by the investigating agency.

The fake OAS vehicle was discovered by chance, during an operation to seize the property of the Narváez Reina family clan, dedicated to smuggling drugs into the U.S., the report stated.

No arrests were made during the seizure.

Deputy prosecutor general Jorge Perdomo, told reporters that the agency “will coordinate with international organizations to establish a control mechanism” that allows the identification of vehicles.

“The authorities are deeply concerned because insignias from international organizations were used to commit criminal activities,” he added.

The OAS mission, established in 2004, monitors the compliance of peace agreements made with the paramilitary organization United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC).

The AUC, which used to combat guerrillas, committed hundreds of crimes against civilians and was demobilized between 2003 and 2005 through an agreement with former President Álvaro Uribe, which granted them procedural privileges in exchange for truth and reparations to their victims.

Furthermore, the OAS mission also monitors Colombia’s obligations for human rights and international humanitarian law.

Colombia, which has endured a close to fifty-year armed conflict involving guerrillas, paramilitaries, and drug traffickers, is currently going through a peace process with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.