Colombia's Defense Ministry has launched an investigation into drug trafficking by the military after seven soldiers —including a major— were arrested with a total of more than 100 kilos of marijuana in their possession.
Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzón and armed forces commander Gen. Alejandro Navas made the announcement after six soldiers were caught transporting 25 kilos of pot on a Hercules plane and Maj. Edisson Javier García was arrested with 79 kilos in a vehicle.
The Attorney General's Office has also launched an investigation, Pinzón told reporters, adding that "there is zero tolerance for any criminal activity" within the armed forces.
"The investigation must be thorough to uncover the entire network," Navas said.
The first signs of the existence of a drug ring inside the army emerged last week when 25 kilos of marijuana were discovered on a military plane transporting a squad of soldiers from the conflictive southwestern province of Cauca to the Tolemaida military base in central Colombia.
Maj. García was then caught Tuesday with 79 kilos of pot in the southwestern province of Valle del Cauca.
García, who was taking courses required for promotion to the rank of lieutenant colonel, was transporting the drugs in a vehicle on the Pan American Highway.