- The deforestation fronts in the Nukak Makú reserve and natural parks in Boyacá and Caquetá were affected in the proceedings, among other actions.
- In Norte de Santander, the Attorney General, Francisco Barbosa Delgado, announced these important results in which he agreed on joint actions with the public force to strengthen the fight against crime.
In Catatumbo (Norte de Santander), the Attorney General, Francisco Barbosa Delgado, met with the Armed Forces and the National Police to learn details and verify the progress of the campaign ‘Campaña Esparta’ which seeks to impact organized crime in the northeast area of the country.
Some actions to strengthen this joint work were defined at the meeting. In this sense, there will be itinerant prosecutors and investigative work focused on money laundering, drug trafficking and environmental crimes.
The impact on natural resources in this area is evident. During his visit, the Attorney General noted the loss of topsoil due to illicit crops and other illegal phenomena, so the area will be part of a prioritization plan. In fact, in the last two days, an offensive against indiscriminate logging and illegal mining was carried out.
The Delegate Director on Public Safety of the Office of the Attorney General, the Special Directorate against Human Rights Violations, the military forces, and the National Police, arrested 40 people, in 6 operations carried out in Boyacá, Guaviare, Caquetá, Chocó, Antioquia and Cesar. The operations were:
- A network involved in selling wood extracted from Serranía las Quinchas received a hard blow
In Boyacá, a network that illegally obtained licenses and safe-conduct for the exploitation, transport and commercialization of wood extracted from Serranía las Quinchas (Parque Natural Regional Serranía de las Quinchas) was dismantled. Six people who allegedly promoted the indiscriminate logging of at least 353 hectares of native forest were arrested.
The wood was allegedly extracted from the forest reserve and transferred to farms of some acquaintances from the criminal organization. Later, with licenses of Instituto Colombiano Agropecuario (ICA) and the Corporación Autónoma Regional de Boyacá, the product was moved as if it were legally obtained. To obtain these permits, the alleged members of the structure offered gifts to employees.
A prosecutor of the Sectional Office in Boyacá charged the arrested people with conspiracy to commit a crime, bribery, damage to natural resources and illegal use of natural resources. As a result of the operations carried out by CTI members of the Sectional Office in Boyacá and the National Army, 10 trucks transporting about 1,400 wooden blocks were immobilized.
- Deforestation of the Nukak Makú indigenous reserve
In San José del Guaviare, the Office of the Attorney General arrested 6 people involved in large-scale cattle ranching within the Nukak Makú indigenous reserve, a community with special constitutional protection due to the risk of physical and cultural extermination.
In three different properties, known as Varsovia, La Carolina and La Esperanza, about 800 hectares of the jungle were destroyed to build settlements and corrals for raising cattle, a forbidden activity in this area. A prosecutor of the Special Directorate against Human Violations charged the arrested people with the invasion of areas of special ecological importance.
A house arrest measure was issued for Carlos René Reyes, the alleged administrator of these livestock fronts. The supervisory judge ordered the destruction of the buildings, corrals and any element that could alter the living conditions of the Nukak Makú community.
- One of the alleged sponsors of deforestation in Los Picachos was arrested
Gildardo Toledo Villa who would be one of the major sponsors of the extensive cattle ranching in the Los Picachos National Park (Parque Nacional Natural Los Picachos) was arrested in San Vicente del Caguán (Caquetá). This person allegedly deforested 39 hectares of primary forest to create pastures and raise livestock in a property known as El Despecho.
In that sense, he was charged with illegal use of renewable natural resources, invasion of areas of special ecological importance. At the request of a prosecutor of the Special Directorate against Human Violations, home detention was issued against him (in a place other than the property he occupied in the natural park). Moreover, the sanitary registry was suspended.
- Illegal mining in Bajo Cauca
17 people were arrested in flagrante delicto, including four citizens of Brazil, for illegal gold extraction with gigantic dredges and toxic substances, on the Nechí river, in Caucasia (Antioquia).
During the proceedings, two ‘dragons’, backhoes, and other elements were destroyed. They allegedly exceeded the 6 billion pesos. This result represents a hard blow given to the criminal finances of the ‘Clan del Golfo’ and ‘Los Caparros’, which would receive resources from this illegal mining operation. The arrested people are brought before a supervisory judge.
- Gold extraction in Quito river (Chocó)
In Unión Panamericana (Chocó), the Office of the Attorney General, the Armed Forces and the National Police discovered an illegal mining operation just at the moment when mercury was spilled on a watershed in Quito river, a special source of constitutional protection in Chocó.
During the proceedings, machinery valued at 600 million pesos was destroyed and two people were arrested. A prosecutor of the Special Directorate against Human Violations charged them with illicit exploitation of mining deposits and related crimes.
- Illegal mining affecting Cesar river
In Valledupar (Cesar), the Office of the Attorney General dismantled a huge deposit of dragging and construction material that, without any environmental license or authorization, indiscriminately exploited about 40 hectares. This illegal mining activity affected the Cesar river, a water source that is part of the ecosystem of Serranía del Perijá.
CTI investigators arrested 8 people. A prosecutor of the Special Directorate against Human Violations charged the defendants with damage to natural resources and illicit exploitation of mining deposits and other materials. 3 backhoes, 6 dump trucks and other items, whose value reaches 2 billion, were seized.
The Office of the Attorney General makes this information public for reasons of general interest.
The information contained in this press release corresponds to the narration of the objective news provided by the officials in charge of carrying out the criminal investigations within the Office of the Attorney General. By the time this communication is disclosed, the legal status of the people mentioned is still pending to be resolved by the competent judicial authority, always under the presumption of innocence contemplated by Article 29 of the Political Constitution and Article 7 of Law 906 of 2004.