In Colombia's western lowland region, a vast labyrinth of waterways extends from the base of the Andes mountain range toward the Pacific Ocean. Rivers flow through triple-canopy rain forests, grading into palm forest swamps and dense, mangrove marshes, and collect as they proceed toward the rocky coasts and beaches. A wildly diverse tropical habitat, it teems with rare and exotic animals. It is also widely considered one of the most dangerous places on the planet, but not because of the harsh environment or wildlife. Rather, its notoriety comes from the many narcoterrorists, illegally armed groups, and various drug-trafficking organizations that use the thick top cover, natural harbors, and hidden coves as safe havens for their operations.
A New Underwater Threat
Drug smugglers are now using semi-submersible craft to ferry their illicit goods. Could they also be used to carry other, more deadly cargos?
By Captain Wade F. Wilkenson, U.S. Navy