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  HOME | Colombia (Click here for more)

Colombian Police Arrest Major Arms Trafficker

BOGOTA – A major arms trafficker and supplier to Colombia’s Clan del Golfo, the largest gang tracing its roots to the demobilized paramilitary groups, was arrested by the National Police in Cucuta, a city on the border with Venezuela, a high-level police official said Thursday.

The suspect, identified only as the “Señor de la Guerra” and “El Indio,” is a dual Colombian-Venezuelan citizen, said the director of the drug enforcement agency, Gen. Fabian Cardenas Leonel.

The suspect was preparing to flee Colombia after apparently failing to keep his end of a deal with the National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrilla group, the general said.

Investigators determined that the suspect is a “supplier of high capacity arms, including rifles of different calibers, machine guns and M-72 rocket launchers,” to various clients, Cardenas Leonel said.

The suspect sold the arms and other military gear in Catatumbo, a vast jungle area on the border with Venezuela, where guerrillas, gangs and drug traffickers operate.

Catatumbo is one of the largest coca-growing regions in Colombia, producing the raw material for cocaine.

Investigators found that the suspect supplied arms to the Clan del Golfo, a gang involved in drug trafficking that traces its roots to the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) militia federation, which demobilized more than 10 years ago.

The suspect worked with the Clan del Golfo in Norte de Santander province, whose capital is Cucuta, Cardenas Leonel said.

 

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