Colombia Today: Volcano Evacuations, Drug trafficking organization wants a seat in government, Navy seizes drug-laden ships

These are the trending news headlines in Colombia on Tuesday April 4, 2023

Volcano Evacuations, Drug trafficking organization wants a seat in government, Navy seizes drug-laden ships.


Residents living on the upper slopes of the Nevado del Ruiz volcano in Colombia are being evacuated due to an increase in seismic activity. Colombia’s Geological Service has raised the alert level from yellow to orange, warning that a major eruption could occur in the coming days or weeks.
This is a worrying development as the volcano caused Colombia’s deadliest natural disaster in 1985, when an eruption caused snow on its peak to melt and triggered a mudslide that buried the town of Armero, killing around 25,000 people.
Geologists have registered thousands of daily tremors, an unprecedented number since they began monitoring the volcano’s activity. Around 40 families have been evacuated and schools in the area will switch to online classes. The nearby Los Nevados natural park has also been closed to tourists.
The SGV said that it had no scientific way of predicting if the volcano’s activities would increase further or diminish again. The last time the threat level at the Nevado del Ruiz was raised was in 2012, but no major eruption occurred that time. Authorities are closely monitoring the situation and taking necessary precautions to ensure the safety of residents in the area.

Colombia’s most powerful drug trafficking organization, AGC, wants a seat at the government table. The AGC controls a massive swath of the country and the most important routes for moving cocaine to the United States. It also plays the role of both police and judiciary in rural communities, resolving disputes between locals.
During several hours of conversation with Washington Post journalists, Jerónimo, the AGC’s political commander, explained the organization’s self-proclaimed political mission. The move comes as the leftist government of President Gustavo Petro is pursuing an ambitious plan for “total peace,” attempting to dismantle multiple armed groups and end the violence and killings that have long beset the country.
More than 1 million people have died in Colombia’s decades-long conflict, according to government figures, and more than 8.4 million have been displaced from their homes. While the AGC’s case for peace may seem like progress, the organization’s history of violence and drug trafficking raises questions about its true intentions. Authorities and the public remain cautious as they navigate the complex and dangerous world of Colombian drug cartels.

In a series of maritime incidents off the coast of Colombia, the navy seized more than four tons of marijuana and intercepted three drug-laden ships. Two of the ships sank as they tried to evade the navy. The first ship, which was carrying around 5,000 pounds of marijuana, sank due to bad weather, but the two people on board were rescued. In the second incident, officials seized more than 2,000 pounds of marijuana from a high-speed ship that was intercepted. In the third incident, a boat manned by three individuals was detected about 50 nautical miles off the coast of Bahía Solano, but it ended up sinking after trying to flee. Seven arrests were made, and more than 700,000 doses of the drug were seized. The navy has been busy intercepting drug-laden vessels off the coast in recent months.

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