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Colombia: first deaths after the end of the truce with the main drug cartel


The Colombian army announced on Tuesday March 21 that it had killed two members of the Clan del Golfo and captured one of its leaders, as well as the assassination of a...

The Colombian army announced on Tuesday March 21 that it had killed two members of the Clan del Golfo and captured one of its leaders, as well as the assassination of a soldier, after the announcement on Sunday of the end of the armed truce against the most powerful drug cartel in the country.

On December 31, the government announced a bilateral ceasefire with this cartel, but also the guerrillas of the National Liberation Army (ELN, Guévarist), the dissident groups of the former Marxist guerrillas of the FARC, which did not sign the 2016 peace agreement, and a group of paramilitaries.

But President Gustavo Petro on Sunday suspended the ceasefire with the cartel, accusing him of violating it by encouraging attacks by illegal miners in the northwest of the country.

The latter have been protesting since the beginning of March against the destruction by the military and the police of the machines with which they extract gold.

The army indicates in a press release that it captured Monday, in this area of ​​the department of Antioquia, the alleged "

coordinator of the hitmen (...) of this illegal group

", alias "



According to the Minister of Defense, Ivan Velasquez, 10,000 police and military have been positioned in the region.

Continue military operations

In a video sent to the media, General Luis Ospina adds that a "


" in the north of the country, in the department of Bolivar, "

caused the death of two members of the Clan



The commitment of the troops (...) will be to continue military operations

," said Colonel Luis Cifuentes, in charge of operations against the Clan del Golfo.

On the same day, a soldier on leave, out in a business in the city of Monteria (northwest), was "

murdered while he was defenseless

", indicates another army press release published Tuesday after- noon.

According to initial information, the attackers were traveling on motorcycles and belong to the Clan del Golfo, the army said.

Between the city of Medellin and the Caribbean coast, the region of Monteria is a stronghold of the Clan del Golfo, heir to the far-right paramilitary militias that settled there at the height of the internal war that ravaged the country in the years 1990-2000.

It is precisely in this region of illegal gold mines that miners have been leading a protest movement for three weeks.

On Tuesday, the national road linking Medellin to the Caribbean coast remained closed to traffic, after an attack targeting two buses and four trucks by suspected members of the criminal group.

Only convoys of dozens of civilian vehicles, protected and supervised by the army, were authorized to pass through it, zooming past the carcasses of buses burned two days earlier, AFP noted.

The road has been completely cleared of the cut trees that cluttered it last week.

The miners claim, however, to continue their protest movement, and activity was greatly slowed down in several localities along this national road, where shops were however open.

By reactivating operations against the Clan del Golfo, President Petro confronts the largest cartel in Colombia, the world's largest producer of cocaine.

Almost as much as the drug trade, Colombian armed groups profit from illegal mining, which causes significant deforestation and mercury pollution of waterways.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-03-22

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