The Victory of the Urabeños - The New Face of Colombian Organized Crime
The mad scramble for criminal power in the aftermath of the demobilization of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) is over. The Urabeños, or as they prefer to call themselves, the Gaitanistas, have come out on top.
Colombian guerrillas allegedly held an illegal political meeting in the country's southwest, while authorities dismantled a local corruption ring, highlighting issues that will continue to plague the region in the post-conflict stage.
Information has surfaced on apparent frictions at the heart at one of the Western Hemisphere's most powerful drug trafficking organizations. But while its leaders may be divided, this group continues to be a serious threat as it expands across Colombia.
Recent reports warn that one of Colombia's biggest criminal groups may be recruiting dissident guerrilla fighters, another indication that new actors are moving in on criminal operations formerly controlled by the guerrillas.
Top officials in Colombia have recognized a phenomenon that has become increasingly apparent to observers of the FARC peace process: criminal groups are taking control of areas abandoned by the guerrillas.
The mad scramble for criminal power in the aftermath of the demobilization of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) is over. The Urabeños, or as they prefer to call themselves, the "Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia," have won.