Five of the main coordinators of the illegal structure were arrested in proceedings carried out in Bogotá, Santander and Meta. They would be the promoters of serious damages in 6,300 hectares of the National Natural Park.

The Office of the Attorney General, through the Special Directorate against Human Rights Violations, in a joint effort with the Directorate of Carabineros* of the National Police and the Army, launched an investigative strategy that made it possible to identify one of the main causes of loss of topsoil and forest in the natural park Parque Nacional Natural Sierra de La Macarena.

Thanks to evidence that was collected, it was established that a criminal network, known as ‘Los Invasores’, would be responsible for cutting down trees and burning protected areas in La Macarena with the illegal purpose of planting grass and raising cattle.

The cattle were allegedly bought in Arauca and transferred to the sector named Avión Caído in the rural area of Las Animas de Vistahermosa (Meta). After raising the cattle, the animals were allegedly transported to Villavicencio (Meta) and Bogotá with false documents to sell them and hide their true origin.

The so-called ‘Los Invasores’ allegedly had more than 2,500 head of livestock in the National Park. In addition, the monitoring activities allowed to determine that they  affected 6,300 hectares, in which there was deforestation, damage to flora and fauna, changes in land and modification of water basins.

Dismantling the so-called ‘Los Invasores’

Five of the main coordinators of the criminal organization were arrested in simultaneous operations carried out in Bogotá, Vélez (Santander), Villavicencio and Vistahermosa (Meta). Among those people arrested are the alleged financiers and coordinators of the purchase, transfer, raising and sale of livestock and also people allegedly in charge of working in the countryside.

A prosecutor appointed to the Special Directorate against Human Rights Violations will bring these people before a judge and will charge them with aggravated criminal conspiracy and aggravated invasion of areas of special ecological importance.

“For us, it is very important the environment, the protection of nature and the promotion of sustainable development in the country. The Office of the Attorney General prosecutes those who violate the laws related to the protection of these assets and legal purposes”, stated the Attorney General, Francisco Barbosa Delgado when he announced this important result.

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.

*Mounted police