The Salvadoran Navy’s Trident Naval Task Force (FTNT, in Spanish) and the National Civil Police (PNC, in Spanish) seized 4,656 kilograms of cocaine in three operations.
The PNC reported on January 10, 2022, the seizure of 500 kg of cocaine that two Salvadoran nationals were transporting in an artisanal boat, in Puerto El Triunfo, Usulutan department. “The information is that this drug was being transported to Guatemala,” PNC Director General Mauricio Arriaza said on Twitter.
In two other operations, in Sonsonate department, the FTNT seized 4,156 kg of cocaine that five Colombians and two Ecuadorians were carrying in two semisubmersibles, Vice Admiral René Merino, Salvadoran Minister of National Defense, said on Twitter on December 27.
Authorities intercepted the vessels 751 kilometers and 796 km off the coast of El Salvador, Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele said on Twitter. “It’s the first time that two [semisubmersibles] are located simultaneously, in addition to [this] being the second largest seizure in recent decades,” Vice Adm. Merino said.
Links with Central America
General Jorge Luis Vargas, director of the Colombian National Police, told the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo that Salvadoran authorities coordinated the operations with the U.S. Coast Guard. The drug departed from Tumaco, Nariño department, and is believed to belong to the Segunda Marquetalia, a dissident group of the former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, “commanded by Iván Márquez, the former guerrilla leader who took part in the peace accords but later withdrew, and is now a fugitive from justice,” the Colombian magazine Semana reported.
On January 10, the Colombian Office of the Attorney General’s Technical Investigation Corps (CTI, in Spanish) confirmed that Segunda Marquetalia was sending cocaine to Guatemala. “[We found] a narcotrafficking complex in Tumaco, Nariño, where several labels with the G1 logo on the cocaine packages were identified,” Alberto Acevedo, CTI director, said on Twitter, about one of the logos the criminal group uses. “During controls, it was found that [drug] caches departed from this lab and others in the region in different quantities, hidden in cargo vehicles, and transported to Cúcuta, Norte de Santander, where they were stored to coordinate their transfer to Venezuela.”
According to the Colombian Office of the Attorney General, Segunda Marquetalia criminals had an agreement with the Mexican cartel Jalisco New Generation to deliver shipments to Central America.