To date, 117 people were prosecuted for environmental crimes in 2022. In the most recent result, a gigantic illegal mining complex in Chocó that, apparently, served as an illicit source of financing for the ‘Clan del Golfo’, was seized

The Attorney General, Francisco Barbosa Delgado, reviewed the progress made in the investigative strategy aimed at the defense of natural resources, and against the criminal networks that destroy the forests and the country’s water sources.

In 2022, 117 people have been arrested and prosecuted for environmental crimes in 48 operations against deforestation, the illegal exploitation of minerals, wildlife trafficking, and the illegal use of natural resources.

“21 of these procedures, in which 55 people have been prosecuted, have been conducted against the predators of the Amazon, the natural reserve areas, and the National Natural Parks”, emphasized the Attorney General.

The actions conducted by the Prosecutor’s Office, in coordination with the public force, have allowed the seizure of 7,585 deforested hectares, equivalent to 8,925 regulation soccer fields. On the other hand, 21 operations have been carried out against illegal mining where  59 people have been arrested in Amazonas, Antioquia, Atlántico, Bolívar, Boyacá, Caquetá, Cundinamarca, Chocó, Córdoba, Meta, Santander, Norte de Santander, Valle del Cauca and Sucre. .

“The assets of those involved in environmental crimes have been confiscated. So far, measures such as the seizure of assets valued at almost 3,000 billion pesos have been conducted”, said the Attorney General Barbosa Delgado.

Hard blow dealt to Clan del Golfo’s illicit resources

In the most recent result, the Attorney General’s Office, through the Special Directorate against Human Rights Violations and the Sectional Office in Chocó Section, National Police Directorate of ‘Carabineros’ and the National Army, seized a complex used for illegal exploitation of minerals near Atrato River, between the rural area of Tutunendo and Quibdó (Chocó).

“A serious impact on the water sources was found due to the dumping of arsenic, mercury, nickel, and lead, among other toxic elements used to obtain gold; as well as the alteration of the soil and the destruction of the vegetation with heavy machinery”, stated the Attorney General.

Eight diggers and three suction motors, valued at more than 2,500 billion pesos, were destroyed in a controlled manner. The intervention of a group of people avoided the arrest in flagrante delicto of those who would be responsible for affecting this sector of the Atrato, a river declared as subject to special protection.

This result affects one of the illicit incomes of the substructure ‘Clan de Golfo”, Héroes de Jesús Carretera’, which demanded monthly fees from those responsible for this gigantic mining complex.

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.