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Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Colombia Dismantles Wayuu Gang That Trafficked 90 Tons of Cocaine for the Sinaloa Cartel

"Socalj" for Borderland Beat

Colombian and American authorities dismantled a drug gang that operated in La Guajira, in northern Colombia, and was associated with the Sinaloa cartel. According to the Colombian Police, the organization trafficked more than 90 tons of cocaine since 2021.

General William René Salamanca Ramírez, General Director of the National Police, said that the organization "has been involved in more than 30 shipments of narcotics in the last two and a half years with destinations to Central America and the United States, valued at $1.8 billion."

Operation New Horizon 

The operation led to the arrest of Edicto Segundo Castañeda Hernández, also known as "El Condor" who is said to be the leader of the organization. He was arrested after attending a Vallenato music party at a ranch in Uribia, La Guajira. The party, which he attended with his wife and several of his men, lasted for days. Undercover police officers were there monitoring Hernández and arrested him as he left the party.

In order not to arouse suspicion, he always gave instructions in the Wayuunaiki dialect. Perhaps he did not think that there were policemen in the intelligence division who spoke the same language. Following that discovery, a policeman of Wayuu descent was appointed to the team in order to translate the orders being given by "El Condor" as the leader of a powerful criminal organization with tentacles with the Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico.

The organization used communities inhabited by the Wayuus for the collection of narcotics, which were transferred from Catatumbo to the southeast following the border with Venezuela, towards Alta Guajira "using trails (roads) from Colombia and Venezuela and the waters of the Gulf of Coquivacoa.

They had the services of shipyards to use semi-submersibles and boats, with engines, spare parts, and gasoline acquired in Riohacha and other capitals, in which they transported the drug to the high seas, where they transferred the cargo to larger ships with destinations including Mexico and the United States

The organization sent up to 8 tons of drugs each month through Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and, finally, the United States. 10 firearms, 38 cellphones & computers, and about $38,500 in cash were seized.

"El Cóndor" is 46 years old with approximately 15 years of drug trafficking experience. The operation resulted in the arrest of 17 others as well including 'El Gordo', 'Puerco', 'Amílcar', 'Parce', 'Diomeditos', 'Orlando', 'Maye', 'Secre', 'Merras', 'César', 'Chichongo', 'Jaime', 'Camello', 'Rafa', 'Sabroso', 'Gordito' and 'Viejo Edi', who are network coordinators, financiers, and route controllers.

Singer Enaldo Barrera Hernández Captured

Vallenato music singer Enaldo Barrera Hernández, better known as 'Diomedito', was also one of those captured in 'Operation Horizon'. According to the investigation of more than a year, Barrera Hernández was in the "finance" line along with three other individuals named Orlando Piñeros, César Díaz.

Barrera Hernández is one of the survivors of the plane crash in El Tigre, Venezuela, where Juancho Rois, Maño Torres, and Eudes Granados died. He would sing in replacement of Diomedes Díaz. Enaldo Barrera's son is the accordion player for singer Alex Maga.

'Diomedito' had resumed his artistic career by recording the songs for the RCN production 'Diomedes, El Cacique de la Junta', and he was about to launch his new record called 'Buscando un Amor'.

In 2001, Enaldo Barrera Hernández, was imprisoned for 10 years in the United States when he was found with drugs in his luggage on a trip that was intended to promote his musical work 'Por quererte tanto'.

US Stops Monitoring of Colombian Drug Crops

The United States will suspend the monitoring of drug crops in Colombia and at least for this year will not publish the report corresponding to the hectares planted in 2022, the Colombian Ministry of Justice reported on Tuesday.

"It is a decision of the North American authority that is neutral (...) I have the information that this year no report will be presented, no monitoring was done, I do not know if they will do so in the future," said the head of the portfolio, Néstor Osuna.

According to Osuna, the suspension of monitoring is due to "some change in the institutional organization of the agencies that have been doing this that have no direct relationship with an international issue with Colombia."

According to the local media, citing White House sources, the satellite image system used in the monitoring of cocaine crops was expensive for the United States and redundant, taking into account that the United Nations issues a similar report every year. 

He also suggested that the US authorities are more concerned about the use of fentanyl than cocaine, when 110,000 people died in the US in 2022 from drug overdoses, the majority were addicted to this synthetic opioid.

The latest report from the US Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and the UN revealed that Colombia's cocaine crops have been decreasing over the last few years, after rising significantly. 

2019 169,000 hectares

2020 245,000 hectares

2021 234,000 hectares

2022 204,000 hectares

However, according to the UN, the production of cocaine in Colombia has been on the rise and was around 1,400 tons last year.

Petro's Drug Policy

President Gustavo Petro is a staunch critic of the "failed" war on drugs, despite millions of US support dollars.

The first leftist president in the history of Colombia is committed to a less repressive policy towards peasant farmers and focused on the prevention of consumption and the interdiction of large shipments bound for North America and Europe.

"Colombia and the United States address the negative impact of the illegal drug economy from a broad spectrum that includes the damage caused by consumption and the links of trafficking as a whole," the presidency said in a bulletin.

Colombia has seen more than half a century of armed conflict, and much of that violence is financed by drug trafficking. 

Petro has vowed to end Colombia's 60-year conflict, which has killed at least 450,000 people, by inking peace or surrender deals with remaining rebels and criminal gangs and fully implementing the peace accord with the FARC.

Colombia Resumes Peace Talks with FARC Dissidents

Colombia's government has reached an agreement to begin peace talks with a faction of dissident Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels who rejected a 2016 peace agreement, according to a statement.

A temporary ceasefire between the government and a dissident faction of the now-demobilized FARC, which is made up of approximately 3,500 people and is known as the Estado Mayor Central (EMC), will be discussed.

"Both parts reiterate the firm intention to advance toward the construction of a Peace Agreement that puts to an end the armed confrontation," the two parties said in a joint statement dated Saturday and published via Twitter by the Colombian government's High Commissioner for Peace on Sunday. The statement called for an "integral, stable, and lasting peace with social and environmental justice."

Estado Mayor Central (EMC) Dissident Faction

The EMC is one of two breakaway factions of FARC that did not accept the previous peace deal in 2016, which demobilized 13,000 people and led to the creation of a political party that won 10 seats in Congress.

Another rebel group, the National Liberation Army (ELN), which was not part of the 2016 deal, is currently in talks with Petro's government. The parties announced in June that a six-month ceasefire will begin in August.

Sources Reuters, El TiempoRiodoce, Twitter, La Jornada, CambioColombia, Diariodelnorte


  1. El condor, wasnt one of chapos assistants also called el condor?

    1. Yes, Carlos Manuel Hoo Ramírez, he was arrested with Chapo in 2014. former GAFE soldier and Chapo's secretary/assistant.

  2. So the Mexico bound shipments were for the Cancun/Queretaro/Quintana Roo area

    1. 2:09. How do you know?

      El Condor Looks like he used too much of his product.

      Good call reallocating coca growth expenditures to attack fent!

  3. Fascinating network…always feel bad for them when they get caught at a party what a bad way to go out

    1. He looks crudo as fuck in that picture.. just imagine being hungover, hungry thinking about that menudo you gonna eat to feel better then sas you going to jail

  4. 38 thousand. This guys are small potatos.

    1. Yeah only 9 tons of cocaine monthly pretty small time.....

    2. 5:03. Is that a joke? 16,000 lbs per month is not at all small time

    3. 7:15 its a joke

  5. That's what was just on them for the party, probably

  6. 90 tons is just the amount they were aware about… really makes you wonder how much exactly gets smuggled as a whole!!!


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