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.
The most wanted drug trafficker in Colombia and leader of the powerful Urabeños has offered to surrender himself and his organization to authorities just days after his number two was killed by security forces. However, it is unlikely that the dispersed, decentralized criminal group will be able to rally the rank and file away from their drug trafficking activities in exchange for a prison cell.
A top commander of Colombia's most powerful crime group has been killed during a security operation, marking a new level of success for authorities while potentially paving the way for more infighting within the increasingly fragmented organization.
Colombia's government has declared an ambitious plan to eradicate 100,000 hectares of coca crops by the end of the year, but an analysis of the program so far casts doubts on the ability of the government to prevent illegal armed groups from regenerating the vicious criminal circle.
The Colombian government has made some discrete changes to its hunt for the country's most wanted criminal, changes that may well tip the scales in what has, for the last two years, been a fruitless search.
Colombia's dense jungle on the Caribbean coast is the heartland of the Urabeños, one of the most powerful criminal organizations in the Americas. This is where its top leaders are hiding, and it is also where the government is rebooting its largest-ever police operation to try, once again, to force them out. But so far the massive effort has failed to achieve its main objective: capturing Colombia's most wanted criminal suspect.
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.