This is how arms trafficking networks would work within the Army: they refer to ammunition as beauty products to go unnoticed

Spread the love

The war material being negotiated would be destined to supply criminal groups such as the 'Gulf Clan', the FARC dissidents and the ELN

< /i>

This is how arms trafficking networks would work within the Army: they refer to ammunition as beauty products to go unnoticed

Photo: Colprensa

The capture and release of Lieutenant Colonel Jorge Esteban Bautista López, at the El Dorado airport in Bogotá, for trying to bring weapons into the country, set off alarms regarding the alleged existence of an arms trafficking network within the country's armed forces.The newspaper El Tiempo and Caracol Radio exposed evidence of what would be the modus operandi of uniformed officers who would use their position within these institutions to profit from crimes related to the sale of weapons.

Initially, the national broadcaster highlighted that thanks to interceptions of communications between the aforementioned criminals, it was possible to establish, among other things, the way in which they communicated with each other to go unnoticed. They used the name of the beauty products company 'Yanbal' to refer to weapons and ammunition. The war material being negotiated would be destined to supply criminal groups such as the 'Clan del Golfo', dissidents and the ELN. In conversations, people talk about 'long brooms' and 'jars' to really refer to suppliers of firearms.

“To do a private business with the aim of having an easy business. All that warlike material, of war that can only be authorized by the National Constitution, can only be disposed of by the National Army, you dedicated yourself to selling it to the highest bidder, who are the ones who later sell it to the large armed groups of this country that with these weapons commits so many crimes every day”, said the prosecutor who is in charge of the case. There is talk, for example, of the sale of 10 thousand ammunition, on one of the occasions.

On the other hand, the newspaper El Tiempo referred, specifically, to the work of Army Colonel Óscar Alexánder Amado Pinzón, the same one who was captured after being accused of trafficking military weapons that later ended up in the hands of groups armed outside the law. In his particular case, he is accused of being part of a network that stole weapons that were stored in Tolemaida and then handed them over to FARC dissidents.

The man was released due to expiration of terms last September, after declaring himself innocent of the facts. The case of Amado Pinzón is the 12th of the uniformed men who have been captured for acts related to this, in the last year. As evidenced by the investigative unit of the newspaper El Tiempo, this is just the tip of the iceberg, since it is estimated that there are at least eight battalions that have been victims of extraction of war material for the exclusive use of the armed forces. armed.

There is talk, then, of the execution of crimes like this in military stations located in Caquetá, Putumayo, Meta, Tolima, Cesar, Indumil (in Soacha) and even the Supply Battalion of the North Canton, in Bogotá.

< p class="paragraph">The newspaper argued that members of these criminal networks have sold UZI submachine guns for 14 million pesos. According to what a witness to this type of incident told the Prosecutor's Office, according to Caracol Radio, weapons and ammunition were distributed in a clandestine hotel located in the center of Bogotá. In that hotel, the testimony highlights, was the soldier Pedro Javier Ciro, who, the station highlights, retired from service to evade justice.

“This is not by catalogue, nor does it have a business that can prove it. That's not like that, that's wire transfers, increases in assets, exorbitant payments for what he trafficked and because he subtracted to sell. Parts and weapons for exclusive use of the Armed Forces.”, highlighted the Attorney General's Office.