Colombian Defense Minister Diego Molano announced Thursday that police had dismantled a criminal group responsible for “providing” material and logistical support to FARC dissidents allegedly involved in the violence at the Cali protests.
“This is an organized crime group that has criminal influence in the city of Cali. It supplied firearms and explosive devices to the protagonists of recent excesses against protesters, public and private property and members of the public authorities,” said Molano.
According to the Defense Department’s statement, “25 sponsors of the violence recorded in Cali” have been arrested, including those hardest hit by the clashes in the context of the protests against the government of Iván Duque, and that only in this city have almost half of the confirmed deaths left is, 42.
The Ministry of Defense has stated that there have been 30 raids and searches in the cities of Bogotá, Medellín, Cali and the municipality of Buga in the Valle del Cauca, “in which war material, explosive devices and makeshift uniforms were confiscated.” and accessories for the exclusive use of the armed forces “.
For his part, Police Director General Jorge Luis Vargas has elaborated that the group “imported parts of rifles and short arms from the United States” and then “assembled them in factories in Cali”.
According to the authorities, the weapons and logistics available to this group were sold to the dissidents of the FARC, led by Miguel Botache Santillana, aka “Gentil Duarte”.
The group of detainees includes the pseudonym “John Putas”, a suspected guerrilla fighter on the city front of the National Liberation Army (ELN), who is cited as the main person responsible for the attacks in Cali in recent days.