BOGOTA – Colombian police nabbed nine members of a demobilized paramilitary group involved in drug trafficking on the country’s Amazonian border with Brazil and Peru, authorities said Monday.
Seven members of the organization were arrested in Leticia, capital of Amazonas state, while the other two were arrested in Bogota and in the central town of Planadas, respectively.
The gang was formed from a right-wing militia that was demobilized in December 2011.
Among those arrested was former Amazonas legislator Pedro Arturo Sinisterra, said to collaborate with the organization “in diverting chemical precursors to cocaine labs and demanding payment for each shipment of the processed drug.”
Sinisterra “would be involved in several homicides,” according to a police statement.
The gang also had three partners in Brazil.
Interpol was notified about the arrest warrant for the three Brazilians, who apparently live in the Amazon city of Manaus, Colombian police said.
The gang’s cocaine originated in the Caballo Concha area in Peru, from where they transported it to Leticia and then sent it to the neighboring Brazilian city of Tabatinga, where they looked for routes for shipping it to Europe, the police statement said.
Police said that while the organization only began operating last summer, “it was now producing a ton and a half of cocaine per month.”
Authorities also accuse the gang of 12 homicides of members of rival organizations operating in the border area.