In late July, the Colombian Navy captured six members of the organized armed group (GAO, in Spanish) Clan del Golfo, also known as Gaitanista Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, in Bajó Baudó municipality, Chocó department. The Navy said in a statement that the criminals were traveling in two boats along the Baudó River when units of the Pacific Naval Force’s 22nd Marine Battalion caught them by surprise.
One of the detainees was alias Cholito, who was in charge of finance and microtrafficking networks in the area, as well as business extortion. Authorities also captured alias Filulais, who was a member of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia for 13 years and was registered as demobilized. Alias Filulais is the right-hand man of alias Zarco, the main leader of this GAO in the region.
The other detainees supplied food and weapons to the various fronts that are at war with the National Liberation Army in Medio Baudó and Alto Baudó regions, the Navy said.
From January 1 to July 31, 2020, according to data the Navy provided to Diálogo, the naval institution carried out several operations against the Clan del Golfo in the Pacific coast of Colombia and seized more than 1,336 kilograms of cocaine hydrochloride, 1,113 kg of marijuana, 341 liters of fuel, and 13 kg of explosives, and also destroyed 29 illegal facilities, among other results,
“Chocó continues to be the choice region for these criminals, especially given its geographical conditions and its potential for planting, producing, and processing [drugs], and the conditions to be able to then ship them to Central America and export the narcotics elsewhere,” said Colombian Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel Giovanni Carrillo David, commander of the 22nd Marine Battalion.
“In this region, the Clan del Golfo resorts to extortion, collects money [for protection], moves drugs, brings in former combatants or people who were in other regions of the country, and tries to establish itself in the area and control it,” the officer added.