The defendants also allegedly participated in other violent acts such as threats to a social leader, attacks against members of the public force and the burning of a truck.

The Attorney General, Francisco Barbosa Delgado, accompanied by the Deputy Attorney Martha Janeth Mancera and the Delegate Director on Public Safety, Luisa Obando, visited Valle del Cauca and the coffee-growing region where he announced the actions of the Office of the Attorney General in the fight against crimes that affect citizens.

In the morning, he referred to the arrest of 25 people who apparently were part of a criminal network named Diamante, which was implicated in trafficking weapons from the United States to supply illegal armed groups in Colombia.

Apparently, the defendants carried out the acts of vandalism that took place in the tollbooth in Irrra, jurisdiction of Neira (Caldas), and allegedly participated in other violent acts.

Then, he went to the tollbooth in Irra, jurisdiction of Neira (Caldas) and presented the results concerning the prosecution of six people for acts of vandalism perpetrated there. Later, he traveled to the city of Cartago (Valle) to see the condition of the city in the middle of the protests.

Finally, he went to the Sectional Office in Risaralda to work with the director and his team to address different cases related to social protest.

People prosecuted for acts of vandalism against the tollbooth in Irra

A joint work between the Sectional Office in Caldas and the Organized Crime Group of the Sijín- National Police in Caldas allowed the arrest of 6 people in simultaneous search warrants carried out on May 18 in Irra, in Quinchía (Risaralda).

In the hearings*, a prosecutor charged them with terrorism, violence against a public servant, aggravated theft, arson, and damage to someone else’s property. None of the defendants pleaded guilty to the charges.

Due to the conclusive evidence, a judge in Neira imposed a prison sentence against those people investigated. However, the decision was appealed by the defense attorney.

The decision was pronounced against Jhony Alexánder Herrera García, alias el Mecánico; Luis Fernando Tapasco Chiquito, alias Nacional; Cristian Giovanis García Largo, alias C Peludo; Carlos Leandro Bermúdez Morales, alias Piolo or Piolín; Daniel Felipe Velásquez Trejos, alias Moneque; and Esneider Ospina Álvarez, alias Chimbimbo.

In addition to setting fire to the tollbooth, the detainees are considered responsible for the theft in which employees of the place were the victims, as well as the threats to a social leader in the area, the attacks against four policemen and the burning of a truck on May 1.


Through testimonies, videos, image recognition, and the pieces of clothing that the defendants wore on the day of the facts (seized in the raids), the Office of the Attorney General revealed their alleged participation in the outrages.

According to the videos obtained from the cameras in the tollbooth, the facilities were burned with glass bottles filled with fuel that were thrown. The damages caused by these acts were valued at approximately $4.6 billion and for those days that the tollbooth was not operating, the losses reached approximately  $ 750 million.

According to a denunciation, the attackers would have stolen from the employees of the place at least $ 1,600,000 that they had withdrawn that day.

On the other hand, a social leader in the area reported that after trying to stop these acts of vandalism, he and his family were threatened, therefore he left the area and moved to another municipality.

It is believed that those people investigated attacked four policemen in the protests by throwing stones at them causing injuries in different parts of their bodies.

Finally, the investigators also obtained a testimony of a transporter that was crossing the sector who assured that the attackers stole his wallet, a bag with $ 2,500,000, a spare part for the vehicle. Later, they set fire to the car. Damages, in this case, reached approximately  $ 350 million.­­

“This is a message for all those people who intend not only to destroy the public patrimony and public assets of the country but also for all the people who also intend to impose blockades to Colombian citizens by committing criminal acts” stated the Attorney General.

When we speak, results follow.

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.

*Several  kinds  of  hearings  held  in  one  hearing  (known as audiencias concentradas in Spanish