Four operations carried out simultaneously off the Pacific coast of Colombia in early November led to the seizure of 7,410 kilograms of cocaine. With this, the Colombian Navy has seized more than 150 tons of drugs in this region in 2021.
“Together they [these four operations] have an impact of more than $249 million on the finances of narcotrafficking organizations,” the Colombian Navy said in a statement.
In one of the operations, three criminals from the municipality of Buenaventura were captured while transporting 340 kilograms of cocaine en route to Central America. They were spotted at the mouth of the Naya River, which runs through Valle del Cauca and Buenaventura.
The river flows into the Pacific Ocean, close to some of Colombia’s main cities, from which narcotics produced inland are shipped abroad. Buenaventura is one of them. The city, home to Colombia’s largest port, has also been the most violent for decades, breaking homicide records due to disputes between different Colombian narcotrafficking organizations, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
In two other naval operations reported on November 4, authorities seized 5,497 kg of cocaine hidden in two semisubmersibles. Three Colombians and three Ecuadorians were arrested. Units from U.S. Southern Command’s Joint Interagency Task Force South (JIATF South) surprised the criminals in the vicinity of Malpelo Island, thanks to information from the Colombian Navy. The island is located off Buenaventura, some 507 kilometers away.
In addition, in the first week of November, the combined work between JIATF South and the Colombian and Ecuadorian navies resulted in the seizure of 1,573 kg of cocaine found in a speedboat northwest of the municipality of Salinas, Ecuador.
Discovering the source
In late October, the Colombian Navy had already announced a major drug seizure about 92 km off the coast of Buenaventura: 1,137 kg of cocaine and 440 kg of marijuana found aboard a fishing boat manned by four Colombian men. The drugs were distributed in 55 packages on the deck of the vessel.
According to the Colombian Navy’s investigations, the Jaime Martínez Mobile Column, a dissident group of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, had sent the shipment. The leader of the Jaime Martínez column is narotrafficker Johany Noscué, alias Mayimbú, for whom the Colombian Police is offering a reward of close to $25,000 for information leading to his arrest.