Colombian Army Helicopter Crashes, Killing All Nine Aboard

On April 29th, nine soldiers were killed when an army helicopter that was transporting goods to soldiers crashed in a remote region of northern Colombia, according to the country’s armed forces.

The military has officially said that the helicopter crash was an accident.

The Colombian military issued a statement stating that the supplies were being transported by helicopter to the municipality of Santa Rosa del Sur. This region has lately been the site of clashes between a guerilla organization called the National Liberation Army and the most powerful and biggest drug trafficking group in Colombia, the Gulf Clan.

The Gulf Clan has also partnered with small Colombian drug gangs and international criminal organizations like the Italian mafia ‘Ndrangheta and Mexico’s Jalisco New Generation Cartel.

One of the most sought-after drug traffickers in the world, Dairo Antonio Usuga (“Otoniel”), the former head of the Gulf Clan, was extradited to the US in 2022 and pled guilty to drug trafficking charges.

On Monday, Colombian President Gustavo Petro expressed his sadness at the loss of life among the nine individuals aboard the army aircraft in an article posted on the social media platform X. It was providing for the forces that were fighting the Gulf Clan.

According to the military, the chopper went down before 2 pm. It was a Russian-made MI-17 helicopter with forward-fired rockets and is often used for transporting supplies and personnel.

As of 2007, over twelve thousand Mi-17s have been manufactured, attesting to the helicopter’s widespread renown for excelling in hot and high-altitude environments. It is considered one of the most commonly and continually used helicopters worldwide..

Typically equipped with rockets and other weaponry, the Mi-17 is mainly used for utility duties such as transporting personnel and supplies.

The collision claimed the lives of two officers, two sergeants, and three privates. Those on board the helicopter did not survive the crash.