HomeNewsBriefColombia Investigates Suspected Army Drug Ring
BRIEF

Colombia Investigates Suspected Army Drug Ring

COLOMBIA / 20 DEC 2012 BY GEOFFREY RAMSEY EN

The arrest of a Colombian Army major with 79 kilos of marijuana, following the discovery of another shipment of the drug on a military plane, points to the existence of a marijuana trafficking ring run by corrupt elements of the armed forces.

According to El Espectador, Major Edinson Javier Garcia was detained at a checkpoint while traveling on the Pan-American Highway in the western province of Valle del Cauca on December 18. Upon searching his vehicle, officials found seven large packages of marijuana, 79 kilos in total.

In a statement to the press, Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon said that a criminal investigation had been opened into the incident, and that Garcia had been stripped of his rank.

Prosecutors say that the incident is linked to the seizure of 29 kilos of marijuana on a military plane in Cauca province on December 13, when six soldiers were arrested.

InSight Crime Analysis

The possibility that there is a drug cartel within the Colombian Army severely undermines the institution. While the first seizure could be considered as a one-off, the arrest of a commissioned officer may point to the existence of a more organized trafficking ring. If Garcia, who was reportedly nearing a promotion to lieutenant colonel, was actively involved in selling or transporting the drug, it is not improbable that other high ranking military officials had some knowledge of the criminal venture.

Garcia’s arrest comes at a sensitive time for the reputation of the Colombian armed forces. Military involvement in drug trafficking is under scrutiny after a former head of the army’s intelligence agency was convicted in early December of drug ties and sentenced to 13 years in prison. Ex-intelligence chief Pauselino Latorre previously headed the 17th Brigade, the same division that those arrested in the December 13 incident belonged to.

Compartir icon icon icon

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Tags

Related Content

ARGENTINA / 22 JAN 2019

With a worsening crisis in Venezuela, dark days in Nicaragua, an ever more fragile peace process in Colombia, new governments…

COLOMBIA / 15 MAR 2016

Authorities in Colombia have dismantled an international money laundering network that allegedly used glamorous flight attendants to smuggle huge amounts…

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 19 JUL 2012

A suspected arms trafficker whose network is accused of supplying 500 rifles to the FARC rebels has been arrested in…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…