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ELN would have moved the gold to Venezuela by helicopter with a Red Cross mark

20 January 2019 02:38
Updated 20 January 2019 15:20

"Gustavo and anyone traveling with him must board the ship once it has landed, so you must have the bright (gold) in the bags that you avoid the suspect (& mldr).) They must embark on civilian clothes and keep the gun hidden".

This is one of the 26 e-mails that the Prosecutor's Office has in its communication power between Nicolás Rodríguez Bautista, aka Gabino, one of the leading executives of the National Liberation Army (ELN), and many of the his men, who speak of a movement of gold to acquire weapons.

Although it could be a usual guerrilla operation that alternates terrorism with illegal extraction, which has led the Prosecutor's Office to open a file, classified as the ultimate secret, is that the movement of the metal has been done, according to the emails in a private helicopter with emblems of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and in the peace process with the government of Juan Manuel Santos, when a ceasefire protocol was socialized.

"The helicopter falls on October 12th at the airport in Caucasia with our two delegates, the UN staff, the ICRC, the guarantors and the government representatives.This ship is civil and carries the ICRC emblems" , reads an e-mail attributed to "Gabino", who signs with the pseudonym of Germán, sent to Juan David Acuña, aka Samuel or Samuelito. This last was the right arm of the ELN chief and was discharged from the army in July 2018, in San Pablo, Bolívar, when he apparently returned from Venezuela.

The ICRC spokesmen confirmed time that, indeed, on October 13, 2017 there was a humanitarian movement of ELN members and government representatives, at the request of the parties. However, they were emphatic in pointing out that they do not know the investigations of the Prosecutor's Office.

"We can confirm that it was a private plane with Red Cross emblems, and although some protocols have been met, we do not have to check baggage or personnel," explained the agency's authorized spokesperson.

According to the dossier, what was transported was 77 pounds of gold "by law", equivalent to 34 kilos and, according to the interlocutors of "Gabino", it cost about 3,000 million pesos, which would have been used to buy weapons for his five war fronts.

"The compas, in a mature way, have told me that through me (sic), I will give you the opportunity to look and contemplate that you are assigned a percentage of that shimmer, I asked them how much, and they said that what you have defined "Samuel writes to his boss, aka" Gabino ".

In these communications, the way in which the shipment of gold is displaced and how dangerous it can be to transport it by land is revealed, due to official controls and the presence of other armed actors in rural areas of the Caucasus, Antioquia.

These communications reveal the way in which they dispatch the shipment of gold. Photo: courtesy

So they camouflage the gold

In fact, the subject identified by the authorities as "Gabino" states that the socialization of the ceasefire protocols was developing in specific areas, where it was feasible to take gold so that those who traveled with helicopter were in the ICRC helicopter could hide it to ensure its mobilization.

He also confirmed that, after the mobilization by the Caucasus, "Samuel" and "Gabino" would have handed over the coordinates of a place on the border with Venezuela, where the gold would be marketed.

Members of the official peace delegation that the Santos government installed with ELN – and that President Duque concluded Friday after the terrorist attack in Bogotá – agreed that if this information had been confirmed, it would have been "clear and serious violation of international humanitarian law".

And another source linked to the logistics processes explained that every person traveling on these planes must sign a protocol that prohibits uniforms and weapons and that the procedure is supervised by the police.

"All the equipment that moves in this kind of missions, which sometimes includes small suitcases, is supervised.There are security locks so no one can get close to them or the plane," he said .

However, the Prosecutor's Office advances in investigations and does not rule out the request for formal explanations from those who were aware of this humanitarian movement.

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