Colombian Security Forces Capture 79 Suspected Clan Úsuga Operatives

By Dialogo
May 01, 2015



Colombian security forces recently captured 79 alleged members of Clan Úsuga, one of the country’s most powerful narcotrafficking organizations, during numerous operations nationwide.

On April 18 in the department of Córdoba, law enforcement officers arrested seven suspects who allegedly were part of a network that trafficked cocaine into Central America, from where the drugs were routed to Mexico, the United States, and other destinations. Four of the suspects were allegedly leaders of the drug trafficking ring, and the United States has requested their extradition.

And three days later, security forces captured 72 more suspected members, also seizing an undisclosed number of weapons and computers that contained vital information about the organization's criminal activities. Those arrests occurred during simultaneous raids in the departments of Antioquia, Atlántico, Chocó, Córdoba, Sucre, and Valle del Cauca. The arrests dealt a major blow to Clan Úsuga, said Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzón.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights reported in March that groups such as Clan Úsuga “are the main challenge to public security,” a threat greater than the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the country’s largest guerrilla group. Meanwhile, the Colombian Armed Forces have become more aggressive in their pursuit of the organization.

In March, President Juan Manuel Santos deployed a total of 1,200 Military Troops and National Police Officers along with around 20 Black Hawk helicopters the country’s northwestern region as part of Operation “Toma Masiva del Urabá.” The operation is utilizing Neptuno Task Force, which combines 12 existing task forces and is made up of members of the Colombian Army, Air Force, Navy, and National Police.

The Army and Navy are asking residents to use hotlines 146 and 147 to report any suspicious activity while they continue to combat violence and the trafficking of illicit goods nationwide.

Costa Rican Coast Guard and National Police seize cocaine


Costa Rica’s Coast Guard and National Police recently teamed to capture six suspects in connection with the seizure of more than 600 kilograms of cocaine found aboard their ship in the South Pacific, Costa Rican Public Security Minister Gustavo Mata said.

The interdiction occurred about 30 nautical miles west of Cape Matapalo, where Coast Guard ships and aircraft spotted a suspicious vessel in a known narcotrafficking route. The Coast Guard surrounded the ship, preventing the crew from escaping, before Police and Coast Guard members boarded the vessel and found 32 bales each containing 20 kilograms of cocaine.

The Coast Guard did not immediately report the names of the suspects; one is Colombian, one is Ecuadorean, and four are from Costa Rica. Neither did they immediately report the exact amount of the cocaine, though they placed it in the general range of 640 kilograms. Law enforcement agents also confiscated four pieces of radio equipment that could have been used to alert fellow narcotraffickers of the boat’s location so the cocaine could be transferred to another vessel.

The Coast Guard has been responsible for protecting the country’s waters since Costa Rica disbanded its Army in 1948.


Colombian security forces recently captured 79 alleged members of Clan Úsuga, one of the country’s most powerful narcotrafficking organizations, during numerous operations nationwide.

On April 18 in the department of Córdoba, law enforcement officers arrested seven suspects who allegedly were part of a network that trafficked cocaine into Central America, from where the drugs were routed to Mexico, the United States, and other destinations. Four of the suspects were allegedly leaders of the drug trafficking ring, and the United States has requested their extradition.

And three days later, security forces captured 72 more suspected members, also seizing an undisclosed number of weapons and computers that contained vital information about the organization's criminal activities. Those arrests occurred during simultaneous raids in the departments of Antioquia, Atlántico, Chocó, Córdoba, Sucre, and Valle del Cauca. The arrests dealt a major blow to Clan Úsuga, said Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzón.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights reported in March that groups such as Clan Úsuga “are the main challenge to public security,” a threat greater than the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the country’s largest guerrilla group. Meanwhile, the Colombian Armed Forces have become more aggressive in their pursuit of the organization.

In March, President Juan Manuel Santos deployed a total of 1,200 Military Troops and National Police Officers along with around 20 Black Hawk helicopters the country’s northwestern region as part of Operation “Toma Masiva del Urabá.” The operation is utilizing Neptuno Task Force, which combines 12 existing task forces and is made up of members of the Colombian Army, Air Force, Navy, and National Police.

The Army and Navy are asking residents to use hotlines 146 and 147 to report any suspicious activity while they continue to combat violence and the trafficking of illicit goods nationwide.

Costa Rican Coast Guard and National Police seize cocaine


Costa Rica’s Coast Guard and National Police recently teamed to capture six suspects in connection with the seizure of more than 600 kilograms of cocaine found aboard their ship in the South Pacific, Costa Rican Public Security Minister Gustavo Mata said.

The interdiction occurred about 30 nautical miles west of Cape Matapalo, where Coast Guard ships and aircraft spotted a suspicious vessel in a known narcotrafficking route. The Coast Guard surrounded the ship, preventing the crew from escaping, before Police and Coast Guard members boarded the vessel and found 32 bales each containing 20 kilograms of cocaine.

The Coast Guard did not immediately report the names of the suspects; one is Colombian, one is Ecuadorean, and four are from Costa Rica. Neither did they immediately report the exact amount of the cocaine, though they placed it in the general range of 640 kilograms. Law enforcement agents also confiscated four pieces of radio equipment that could have been used to alert fellow narcotraffickers of the boat’s location so the cocaine could be transferred to another vessel.

The Coast Guard has been responsible for protecting the country’s waters since Costa Rica disbanded its Army in 1948.
Share