Petro's "priorities": finding the $20 billion treasure of the Spanish galleon San José at the bottom of the Caribbean Sea

The Colombian president wants to get the loot before his term ends in 2026. "The president has told us to accelerate the pace," Colombia's culture minister, Juan David Correa, revealed to 'Bloomberg.'

The President of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, wants to accelerate the recovery process of the Spanish galleon San José (sunk, with a treasure, at the bottom of the Caribbean Sea for three centuries). Known as the "holy grail of shipwrecks," it has a value of between 4,000 and 20,000 million dollars and its ownership is in the middle of a legal dispute between a US company and the Caribbean country.

The country's Culture Minister, Juan David Correa, revealed to Bloomberg, that Petro ordered his government to "accelerate the pace" of searching for the treasure, since its discovery "is one of the Administration's priorities" before the end of his term. in 2026. The president called for the creation of a public-private partnership to achieve the goal.

This is one of the priorities of the Petro Administration. The president has told us to accelerate the pace.

Whose loot is it?

The treasure is comprised of gold, silver and emeralds. The legal dispute revolves around who located it at the bottom of the sea. The galleon sank - with about 600 crew members - in 1708 (during a battle during the War of the Spanish Succession ). For many years it was a legend, since its location was unknown.

In 1981, the American company Glocca Morra, claimed to have discovered the exact location of the treasure and handed over the coordinates to the Colombian Government with the condition of receiving half of the fortune. Years passed and it was not until 2015, when then-president, Juan Manuel Santos, reported that they had located the remains in a different location than the one revealed by the company.

Colombia has not disclosed, so far, the new location. It is considered a state secret. However, Glocca Morra, which is now called Sea Search Armada, sued the Government of that country, alleging that it found the remains thanks to its coordinates. The company is asking for half of the treasure or $10 billion.

Minister Correa justified that the Colombian investigators used the coordinates released by the American company at the time and "concluded that there is no shipwreck there."