An attack by the Clan Del Golfo on Colombia’s Army has reportedly left 6 soldiers dead in the municipality of Frontino, Antioquia. Clan Del Golfo is one of Colombia’s largest crime groups that are heavily involved in the global trafficking of cocaine. The attack occurred at around midnight last night in a rural village of Nutibara according to Colombia’s armed forces. Another 5 soldiers are injured and in intensive care in Medellin, and one other soldier is still missing.
In a statement, the Army said the attack was conducted by the “bandits from the Edwin Román Velásquez substructure of Clan del Golfo.” The army stated the attack was carried out with an improvised explosive device which was detonated as an army truck passed it on the road. The soldiers are said to have been leaving the area after carrying out a successful operation against Clan Del Golfo. Colombia’s defense minister referred to this as a “cowardly attack” and a “miserable retaliation for the hard blows we dealt them during Holy Week.”
Images of the soldier’s vehicle
Así quedaron los vehículos del Ejército tras el vil atentado perpetrado por el clan del golfo en Antioquia donde asesinaron a 3 soldados y dejaron gravemente heridos a 5 más. Quiero ver a los políticos que protegen a los terroristas rechazando esto. No lo harán! Apoyo al Ejército pic.twitter.com/CXuOHZCbC8
— Steph Bates Prensa (@StephBatesPress) April 20, 2022
General Diaz, commander of Colombia’s Seventh Division, stated this form of attack had previously been conducted mainly by the FARC. However, recently Clan Del Golfo has recruited ex-members of the FARC to conduct these attacks with improvised explosive devices. Considering much of the Clan Del Golfo membership is from the ashes of the far-right paramilitary groups, it is perhaps unlikely that members of their old foe, the FARC (a leftist guerrilla group who fought the paramilitaries over territories), would join them.
The region where the attack took place, Antioquia, has been a hotspot for conflict in Colombia in recent times. It is strategically important due to its location in North West Colombia, which gives it access to transit routes for cocaine to the Pacific Coast. Hence Clan Del Golfo has been in conflict with the leftist Guerrilla group turned cocaine trafficker ELN. There has also been conflict with the Colombian army, making the region very dangerous.
In a public statement, the Colombian Army concluded “This command sends the most sincere and heartfelt condolences to the relatives of these heroes of the country vilely assassinated when they fulfilled their mission of protecting the civilian population and its resources. At this time, the troops on the ground are intensifying actions to locate our four soldiers, as well as to find those responsible for this cowardly and atrocious act,”