CAMBIOColombia, May 17, 2023

(Translated by Eunice Gibson, CSN Volunteer Translator)

Six people who were stealing weapons and parts at Battalions in Medellín, Ibagué, and La Dorada in Caldas have been arrested in an operation carried out by the Colombian Army and the Attorney General’s Office.

For two months a special group from the GAULA[1] in Cundinamarca and the Attorney General’s Office had followed the movements of the soldiers and civilians that got into the Battalions to steal weapons. Later they were selling them to the ELN[2], to FARC Dissidents, and to the Clan del Golfo[3].

The investigation demonstrated that the criminal organization used a method of petty theft, taking away the weapons parts in briefcases, especially in military units in Caquetá, Tolima, Meta, Putumayo, and Antioquia Departments.

The clues led the authorities to a supposed decoration workshop in Medellín, where they were able to seize two pistols, a submachine gun, replacement parts, and ammunition of different calibers, as well as a motorcycle, and machinery and tools for the assembly of weapons.

Four of the six people were arrested in the search when the materials were seized. They are charged with the crimes of aggravated criminal conspiracy, and fabrication, trafficking, and carrying weapons whose use is restricted to the exclusive use of the Armed Forces, or for explosives.

[1] GAULA, Group of Unified Action for Personal Liberty, is a military organization in Colombia, especially focused on kidnapping, but with other duties.

[2] ELN, Ejército de Liberación Nacionál (National Liberation Army) a guerrilla organization.

[3] Clan del Golfo, a drug trafficking gang.

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