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Mon May 4, 2020, 10:42 PM

The narco history of Colombia's security forces Part 1: Santa Marta by Adriaan Alsema May 4, 2020

by Adriaan Alsema May 4, 2020

Colombia’s security forces have been involved in the drug trade since the beginning. On the Caribbean coast, cops began extorting marijuana traders in the 1960s and ended up being their enforcers.

Colombia’s Caribbean coast was introduced to pot in the 1920’s, probably by United Fruit Company workers, but it wasn’t until around 1970 that exports to the US triggered a “marijuana boom” around the port city.

The local police were almost as quick to make a buck out of the trade as the smugglers themselves. At one point, almost all cops and soldiers working in the region were making money off it, one trader told Magdalena University investigators.

All the police and the army officers that I knew, 90% of them, were involved in the marijuana business. Many police and military came here and left Santa Marta rich. At the time, the father of singer Marbel was a police officer here in Santa Marta and he made money with marijuana.

Former marijuana trafficke


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