Colombia’s police said Monday they arrested an alleged money launderer whose organization allegedly was dismantled by the prosecution a month ago already.
In an apparent attempt to inflate results, government-loyal newspaper El Tiempo reported that police, the prosecution and the military arrested 177 alleged members of paramilitary group AGC, a.k.a. “Clan del Golfo,” in simultaneous operation in 17 of Colombia’s 32 provinces.
Among those detained was alleged money launderer John Fredy Zapata, whose arrest had been announced by the prosecution in December last year already.
Newspaper El Espectador reported that 198 people were arrested in a series of 38 operations targeting the feared paramilitary group that is accused by the United States of being Colombia’s largest drug trafficking organization.
President Ivan Duque stressed that among those arrested was mid-level AGC commander “Aquiles,” who allegedly had traveled to the Orinoco region in the east of the country to strengthen the paramilitaries’ presence there.
Duque has been under pressures to come up with public policies that would allow the dismantling of the AGC and other groups that were formed by dissident members of demobilized paramilitary organization AUC.
These policies would be part of a peace process with demobilized guerrilla group FARC, which is opposed by the president’s far-right party whose leaders, former President Alvaro Uribe, is accused of having had ties to this group.
Instead, Duque appears to be seeking to dismantle the AGC through military and police action, which would prevent that arrested or killed members reveal their ties to politicians, the military and the private sector.