HomeNewsBriefHalf of Weapons Missing from Cali Armoury as Count Gets Underway
BRIEF

Half of Weapons Missing from Cali Armoury as Count Gets Underway

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 6 JAN 2014 BY CHARLES PARKINSON EN

An arms inspection at a military barracks in Cali, Colombia, has found 500 weapons missing out of 1,000 counted, with another 15,000 still to be checked, as a major investigation into weapons trafficking between security forces and criminal groups begins. 

The inventory check at the barracks of the Colombian Army’s Third Brigade, where weapons recovered by security forces in the country’s third-largest city are stored, is being carried out by the country’s Prosecutor General’s Office.  There are fears that thousands of weapons could be unaccounted for.

The majority of the missing weapons — among them 44 rifles — are believed to have gone back into circulation among criminal groups, reported Semana.

The investigation began following the capture of a woman in August 2013 who had seven pistols in her possession, said the magazine. When a scandal erupted in October over the disappearance of arms from the Third Brigade, garrison commander General Luis Fernando Rojas announced the investigation would be carried out by the Prosecutor General’s Office to guarantee transparency. In mid-December, the investigation led to the arrest of four people — including one retired and two serving military officials.

InSight Crime Analysis

The sale of weapons by corrupt security force members is a common feature of arms trafficking. In recent years, examples of both theft from security service storage facilities and security personnel involvement have been noted throughout the region, including in UruguayBolivia and El Salvador. InSight Crime investigators have witnessed first-hand the sale of weapons to rebel groups by security forces on two separate occasions in Colombia.

SEE ALSO: Arms Trafficking Coverage

Cali appears to be something of an arms trafficking hotspot, with reports of arms from China flowing into the city via the nearby port of Buenaventura noted in recent years. In 2009, more than 4,000 firearms were recovered in the city and almost 2,000 more in the surrounding municipalities. While the city’s criminal groups are undoubtedly responsible for much of this, rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) maintain a significant presence in the surrounding rural area.  

The flow of weapons in Cali has aided a conflict among criminals which has seen the city become the most violent in Colombia, although this may change following a pact among the city’s warring criminal groups. The murder rate fell significantly during the last two months of the year, with December murders dropping to a ten-year low, reported El Pais.

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.

Related Content

COLOMBIA / 21 MAY 2018

Colombia’s presidential election, scheduled for May 27, comes at a critical time in the country’s history. The peace process with…

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 23 AUG 2016

Mexico's foreign minister has blamed lax US gun control laws for the flood of illegal weapons into the country, in…

COLOMBIA / 16 JAN 2018

Has Colombia's FARC really left the country's criminal scene? Yes, and absolutely not. The rebel army is gone, and has…

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…