Rastrojos News

8 Killed in Massacre on Colombia-Venezuela Border

8 Killed in Massacre on Colombia-Venezuela Border

A reported clash between criminal groups the Rastrojos and the Urabeños left eight dead along the Colombia-Venezuela border, which, if true, would suggest that the power struggle between these two organizations in this strategic region remains intense. Read More

Rastrojos Profile

Rastrojos

Rastrojos

The Rastrojos were born out of the powerful Norte del Valle drug cartel and rose to become one of the most powerful transnational criminal syndicates in Colombia, until their top leadership surrendered or was captured in 2012.

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More Rastrojos News

  • 8 Killed in Massacre on Colombia-Venezuela Border

    The Zulia morgue the victims were brought to

    A reported clash between criminal groups the Rastrojos and the Urabeños left eight dead along the Colombia-Venezuela border, which, if true, would suggest that the power struggle between these two organizations in this strategic region remains intense.

  • Cali, Colombia: Caught in the Criminal Crossfire

    Cali's youth are particularly vulnerable to criminal groups

    The massacre of eight people on a ranch in the outskirts of Cali -- Colombia's third-largest city and the second-most violent in the country -- has raised alarm over the presence of organized crime in the city, even as the city's authorities appear to disagree over the presence of armed groups there.

  • Colombia's BACRIM Expand as FARC Talks Peace

    Colombia's BACRIM are expanding, says ombudsman's office

    Colombia's Ombudsman's Office warns that the country's narco-paramilitary groups are expanding, suggesting that these organizations could be lining themselves up to dominate a post-conflict Colombia in which the guerrillas have made peace with the government.

  • US Court Sentences Rastrojos Founder to 30 Years In Prison

    A US federal court has sentenced Diego Perez Henao, alias "Diego Rastrojo" -- a former top leader of Colombia's Rastrojos criminal organization -- to 30 years in prison, closing yet another chapter for the greatly diminished crime syndicate.

  • Are Innovative Security Strategies Behind Drop in Cali Homicides?

    Authorities in Cali, Colombia have attributed a decrease in homicides to a combination of citizen security measures and increased presence of security forces, highlighting effective strategies that seem to have helped reduce violence in a city plagued by fighting among rival criminal groups. 

  • Rastrojos Arrests in Colombia Show Group Still Active

    Authorities in Colombia have captured 46 members of a Rastrojos cell and a top leader, indicating that in spite of the blows to the organization in recent years, the group continues to maintain significant operations.

  • New Guerrilla-Paramilitary Fighting Displaces Thousands in Colombia

    Fighting between guerrillas and narco-paramilitaries has displaced thousands in west Colombia, with heavy combat that may carry echoes of politically motivated battles from Colombia's past, but is likely rooted in present day criminal dynamics.

  • Colombia President's Strategist Resigns Amid Drug Money Allegations

    Weeks before Colombia's presidential elections, the current president's political strategist has resigned on accusations he received $12 million from the country's top drug lords to negotiate a plan for their demobilization, in a case indicating how criminal ties continue to reach the top of the administration.

  • The Evolution of the Urabeños

    Urabeños cocaine seized in Buenaventura port

    Uraba, which means "promised land" in the indigenous tongue, was the cradle of the paramilitaries, and remains the country's principal BACRIM stronghold. This is where most of the Urabeños command nodes still meet, and it is the seat of the organization's "board of directors," or Estado Mayor. The region is crucial drug trafficking real estate, providing access to coca crops located in the Nudo de Paramillo, the mountains of Bolívar and the jungles of Choco. It sits astride one of the most important drug movement corridors from the center of the country to the departure points on both the Pacific and Atlantic seaboards. Finally, it has a culture of illegality that stretches from the formation of the Marxist rebels in the 1960s, if not before, which provides fertile ground for today's BACRIM to flourish.

  • Valle del Cauca: A War too Far for the Urabeños?

    The department of Valle del Cauca has become Colombia's bloodiest drug war battleground as the country's most powerful criminal organization, the Urabeños, push to secure trafficking routes in the heartland of their enemies. However, with the war burning money and manpower for three years and no end to the violence in sight, the drug trafficking prize of the south Pacific could prove the end of the line for the Urabeños' advance.