Investigation reveals billion-dollar cartel active in Colombia; authorities doubt claim
One of Mexico’s most infamous drug trafficking cartels has been detected in Colombia’s second largest city, Medellin, a report in El Tiempo newspaper has revealed.
If the report is true, it would be the first time the that billion-dollar Sinaloa Cartel has had an active presence inside Colombia and a role higher up the supply chain – and is not merely a recipient of refined cocaine.
The alleged presence of members of the Sinaloa Cartel operating in Medellin was not taken seriously by top officials in Colombian law enforcement.
While the director of the Anti-Narcotics Police, General Ricardo Restrepo, admitted to the media that links between local cartels and the ruthless Mexican cartel do exist, they shrugged off the notion that the group is operating inside the country.
“We have determined links and contacts of Mexican drug cartels with criminal organisations in Colombia, but that is all,” Restrepo said.
Chief of the National Police, Rodolfo Palomino, told Blu Radio recently that he didn’t buy the report, and said that the Mexicans deal with local cartels, but from outside Colombia’s borders. He also said that security forces have previously seized various Mexican planes attempting to enter Colombia to collect illicit drugs.
El Tiempo’s report also alleged that the Sinaloa Cartel has sent arms and fighters to Medellin in an attempt to increase armed support for two of Colombia’s most powerful criminal organisations there.
The Sinaloa Cartel has had ties to Colombian drug traffickers since the 1990s and is reportedly particularly interested in the highway connecting Medellin to the Uraba region in northwest Colombia, an area that borders Panama.
This road is thought to be controlled by the Urabeños neo-paramilitary group, but also runs through an area where the FARC guerrillas are active. It is alleged that the road is a crucial corridor for drug traffickers’ cocaine shipments from Medellin to the Caribbean Coast.