Colombia captures 28 members of feared drug gang: Santos

A helicopter used by Colombia's anti-narcotics police to throw pamphlets offering rewards for information leading to the capture of members of the Gulf Clan cartel overflies Apartado in Antioquia department, Colombia on May 31, 2017

Bogota (AFP) – Colombian security forces have captured 28 members of the country’s most-feared drug gang, President Juan Manuel Santos said Tuesday.

Santos made the announcement in the country’s northwestern region of Antioquia where the operation, code-named “Odyssey”, targeted the Gulf Clan.

“An operation called Odyssey was carried out today against the Gulf Clan and 28 members of that organization were captured here in Antioquia,” he said.

Police said those captured were wanted in connection with 22 murders in local towns Segovia and Remedios since the beginning of 2016. 

Santos said seven tons of coca leaf were seized in the operation, promising no let-up in the campaign against the country’s largest drug-trafficking organization. 

“We are going to continue,” the president said.

Last month, Santos announced that security forces had killed the Gulf Clan’s second-in-command Roberto Vargas Gutierrez, alias “Galivan.”

The Gulf Clan accounts for some 70 percent of Colombia’s cocaine production. 

The South American country is the world’s leading coca leaf producer and also the biggest source of cocaine, producing 866 tons in 2016, according to the UN.


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