Colombia’s National Police reported the capture of 24 alleged drug traffickers in raids throughout the country Thursday.
The aim was to dismantle the criminal alliance between the guerrilla group National Liberation Army (ELN) and the trafficking organization “Los Rastrojos,” headed by brothers Javier Antonio Calle Seran and Luis Enrique Calle Serna.
This operation comes as the result of a joint investigation by Colombia’s Directorate of Criminal Investigation and Interpol, started in 2009.
According to the report, the ELN’s Manuel Vasquez Castaño front, headed by Miguel Mulato Collazos, alias “Modesto,” with consent of the group’s central command, worked with the Rastrojos to supply drug materials, protect drug labs, and oversee the production and transportation of 800-1,000kgs of cocaine hydrochloride per month.
On top of the arrests, police reported seizing 11 pistols, two MP4 rifles, two sub-machine guns, and three armored vehicles.
Police reported that the majority of those detained were Caqueta natives who later moved to Cali, and in less than two years amassed a drug empire worth more than $30 million.
According to the police, the arrests constitute a serious blow to the Rastrojos, who are currently in a bloody struggle with rival drug trafficking organization “Los Urabeños” over trafficking routes.