In late January, Colombian Army troops, in coordination with the National Police, captured seven members of Los Contadores, a dissident group of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC, in Spanish) that engages in narcotrafficking in the Pacific coast of Colombia, the Army indicated in a press release. Among those captured is Jonn Willa Itas Anacona, alias Alfredo, allegedly responsible for recruiting new members and acquiring weapons and materiel for the group in the Tumaco municipality, Nariño department, on the border with Ecuador.
The search operations, carried out in a rural area of Tumaco, resulted in the capture of the seven people and the seizure of four 9mm pistols, a revolver, a shotgun, two submachine guns, a grenade, and communications equipment, among other items, the Army indicated.
“During the course of the operation, the troops were met with gunfire coming from the houses, and thanks to our soldiers’ expertise, they managed to counter the attack of these individuals,” Colombian Army Brigadier General John Jairo Rojas Gómez, commander of the Cauca Specific Command, told the press.
Authorities transferred the detainees and turned them over to Colombia’s Office of the Attorney General. They will face charges for the crimes of manufacturing, trafficking, carrying, or possession of firearms, accessories, parts, or ammunition.
The Nariño-based criminal group Los Contadores, also known as Iván Ríos Front, is linked to Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel, the Army’s Third Division told Diálogo in a statement. “Nariño department, as an area of easy narcotics production and outlet to Central and North America […], turns the Pacific coast of Nariño into a focus area for Mexican cartels,” the institution explained.
The criminal group, in coordination with the Mexican cartel, is allegedly in charge of producing, trafficking, and commercializing cocaine hydrochloride, as well as acquiring materiel and logistics from Ecuador, from the areas under its control, the Third Division said. According to the international investigative organization InSight Crime, the group has about 400 armed members.
In 2020, the Third Division, with Nariño, Valle del Cauca, and Cauca departments on the Pacific coast of Colombia under its areas of responsibility, captured 117 gang members, including FARC dissidents, National Liberation Army, and Clan del Golfo members, the institution told Diálogo.