Colombian Military Forces Seize More than 5.7 Tons of Drug
By Julieta Pelcastre/Diálogo August 26, 2020
The Colombian Army and Navy seized 5,726 kilograms of marijuana and cocaine hydrochloride in five operations that dealt a major blow to narcotrafficking networks.
The Pacific Naval Force (FNP, in Spanish) reported that on July 18 it seized 62 packages containing 1,213 kg of marijuana and 20 kg of cocaine hydrochloride. The drugs, found in a house in Cali, Valle del Cauca department, were bound for Central America, the Navy said.
In another operation, the Ministry of Defense reported that the Buenaventura Coast Guard Station and the FNP intercepted a speedboat at the mouth of the Naya River on July 12. In the vessel manned by three Colombians, authorities found 1,019 kg of marijuana, and 155 kg of cocaine hydrochloride, which were bound for Costa Rica, the Ministry reported.
Also on July 12, authorities reported in the same area a vessel ready to sail, where they seized 1,338 kg of marijuana and 3 kg of cocaine hydrochloride. There were no arrests during the operation.
The Colombian Military Forces’ General Command (CGFM, in Spanish) reported that on July 10 in Valle del Cauca, Army service members intercepted a vehicle carrying 970 packages with 1,564 kg of marijuana. In other simultaneous operations in the same area, service members found 380 kg of marijuana at a community center and seized another 34 kg of marijuana at a road checkpoint, CGFM reported.
“We are seizing more and more marijuana shipments in busy and inhabited areas, due to tactical units’ control and pressure in the areas of operations,” Colonel Henry López Cano, commander of the Colombian Army 3rd Brigade, told Diálogo on July 21. “[This] leads these groups to use new routes to move shipments, at the risk of being intercepted at the armed forces’ checkpoints.”
“For this reason, we found a car full [of marijuana], as if it were carrying […] shirts, shamelessly and carelessly; they were confident […] that the Public Force was not using military intel to combat this scourge,” Col. López added.
On July 22, the Ministry of Defense announced that it would strengthen security in Cauca and Valle del Cauca with close to 360 security officers. The Public Force will also enforce a micro-focused operational and territorial control strategy for priority municipalities in Cauca.