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Colombia’s Search for $20 Billion in Sunken Spanish Gold

Daniel Kim Views  

The San Jose, a Spanish treasure ship that sank in the Caribbean Sea with over 200 tons of gold and silver, is set to be recovered after 300 years.

According to a BBC report, the Colombian government has begun the initial phase of underwater exploration for the San Jose galleon, which was discovered off the coast of Cartagena.

The exploration goal is to secure detailed images of the shipwreck site, thoroughly understand the status of the submerged artifacts and lay the groundwork for subsequent explorations. Although artifact recovery will not be the objective during the first exploration, the Colombian government has announced that some artifacts may be brought up during the second exploration.

The San Jose was a warship in Spanish King Felipe V’s fleet that sank off the coast of Cartagena on June 8, 1708, during a battle with the British fleet.

Over 600 crew members disappeared to the bottom of the ocean along with treasures brought from Bolivia and Peru, which were Spanish colonies. The 200 tons of treasure, including gold, silver, and emeralds, is estimated to be worth around $20 billion today.

The Colombian government discovered San Jose’s exact location in 2015. However, due to its immense value, international disputes over the ship’s ownership have been ongoing even before its discovery.

Spain, the country that owned the warship; Bolivia, the source of the treasure; Colombia, which has jurisdiction over the sinking point; and an American company that claims to have discovered the shipwreck in 1980, all stake claims to ownership.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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