Colombia Interdicts More than 19 Tons of Drugs in 3 Weeks
By Julieta Pelcastre/Diálogo May 06, 2021
Colombian law enforcement agencies dealt a significant blow to narcotrafficking organizations by intercepting 19,249 kilograms of cocaine hydrochloride and marijuana in different operations between March 16 and April 5, 2021.
On April 5, the Colombian Military Forces’ General Command (CGFM, in Spanish) announced the seizure of 1,085 kg of marijuana in two illegal warehouses in Ciénaga, Magdalena department. The cannabis, which was to be sent abroad, was in different production stages.
The Colombian Navy (ARC, in Spanish) reported on Twitter on April 3 that authorities had stopped the departure of 1,323 kg of cocaine that belonged to the armed group Clan del Golfo, which was to be transported on speedboats from Chocó department to Central America. Criminals had hidden the alkaloid in 40 packages and camouflaged it in an underground warehouse located in a forest area, the Colombian news portal Cable Noticias TV added.
On March 29, the CGFM reported the seizure of more than 1 ton of cocaine hydrochloride and marijuana in Buenaventura, Valle del Cauca. This blow to dissidents of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC, in Spanish) took place in the Naya River area, where authorities intercepted a speedboat and found the drugs inside.
On March 28, agents seized 1,893 kg of marijuana that FARC dissidents were carrying on a vessel in Buenaventura, Colombian Minister of Defense Diego Molano reported on Twitter. That same day, in Caloto, Cauca, the Army confiscated 2,100 kg of marijuana that allegedly belonged to FARC dissidents. The criminals had hidden the drug in egg cartons and covered it with sulfur-impregnated bags to prevent moisture damage to the cannabis.
Two days earlier, on March 26, the ARC announced the seizure of 2,875 kg of cocaine hydrochloride and 111 kg of coca base paste, which criminals were transporting in two speedboats through the Gulf of Urabá. Authorities arrested three Colombians on the first speedboat and apprehended four Colombians and a Panamanian national on the second vessel.
In another operation, the ARC reported on March 22 that agents had seized a semisubmersible that was carrying 402 kg of cocaine, bound for Mexico’s coasts, on the Micay River, between Valle del Cauca and Cauca. This is the ninth semisubmersible the Navy has seized in the Pacific in 2021, the ARC said.
On March 20, service members seized more than 500 kg of narcotics and chemical precursors for drug processing in a lab that belonged to the National Liberation Army (ELN, in Spanish), in Norte de Santander, General Enrique Zapateiro, Colombian Army commander, said on Twitter.
The ARC reported on March 19 that in three operations conducted jointly with the United States, Honduras, and Puerto Rico, agents seized 3,759 kg of cocaine hydrochloride that was being transported in two speedboats and one aircraft bound for Central America. Authorities captured seven criminals during the interdictions.
In a statement issued on March 18, the Colombian National Police reported finding in Buenaventura 931 kg of cocaine inside an Ecuadorian container bound for Guatemala. That same day, the CGFM reported that after a 30-minute chase the Army and the Police prevented 579 kg of marijuana from reaching a FARC dissident group in the Tesalia district, Huila.
In Norte de Santander on March 17, officers found three labs to process cocaine hydrochloride and two labs for coca base paste that belonged to the ELN. According to the CGFM, authorities seized 1,277 kg of cocaine hydrochloride and 543 kg of coca base paste during the operation.
In another operation carried out on March 16, the ARC reported the interdiction of 871 kg of marijuana in a vessel that was bound for Panama.