Colombian largest drug cartel extracting gold from protected area – governor – by Staff Writer ( – May 5, 2024)

The governor of Colombia’s central-northern department of Santander, Juvenal Díaz, denounced the presence of members of the Gulf Clan, also known as the Gaitanista Army of Colombia (EGC), in the Santurbán moor.

The EGC is a neo-paramilitary group and likely the country’s largest drug cartel, which was created after the demobilization of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia. Their presence in Santander is meant to control illegal gold mining operations. According to Díaz – a retired army general turned politician –, the criminals are not only taking over the area but also polluting water sources.

“We have asked the National Army to establish a presence there,” the governor said during an interview with local media. “Now, we have to raise people’s awareness so that they report any irregular activities because these groups start taking over the mines and create deaths and displacements. We don’t want that.”

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