Seventeen alleged members of the neo-paramilitary group the Urabeños were captured by authorities in Colombia’s northern Cesar department, according to local media.
Among those arrested in the region that borders Venezuela was an alleged ringleader of the criminal organization, Franklin Alvarez Nieto, alias “Mickey.” Alvarez was wanted on charges of conspiracy, extortion, kidnapping and murder.
Alvarez was reportedly affiliated with the Uraba-based paramilitary groups for over ten years and was named in a U.N. report as one of the principle causes of displacement and threats to people in the Cesar area.
The alleged head of the illegal armed group is accused of contract killings, grand theft auto, facilitating drug trafficking, and the extortion and intimidation of Cesar’s inhabitants and their enforced disappearance.
Other high-ranking members of the Urabeños were also captured, including the organization’s alleged second in command, alias “Politico” and alias “Toño Chilla,” a former member of the AUC paramilitary group.