11 alleged members of the fast-growing neo-paramilitary group the “Urabeños” have been arrested in joint police operations across northern Colombia.
Colonel Gustavo Chavarro Romero, deputy police commander of the department of Antioquia, northeastern Colombia, said that among those captured was a 28-year-old man known by the alias “Cartagena” or “El Costeño”.
El Costeño is wanted as one of the alleged perpetrators of the murder of community leader Ana Magnolia Hernandez and her 10-year-old son in February 2011, in the municipality of Frontino in Antioquia. His arrest marks the fourth made during ongoing investigations into the double murder.
The 11 arrested members of the rapidly expanding and notably violent drug-trafficking group are being held on charges of murder, drug-trafficking and conspiracy to commit crimes for extortion purposes.
The Urabeños are the largest and most powerful group formed by former members of paramilitary organization the AUC. The group controls most of Colombia’s Caribbean coast and parts of the country’s second largest city, Medellin, capital of Antioquia.