The national police on Wednesday announced the capture of 22 members of the neo-paramilitary group known as the “Giraldo Clan” currently operating in Colombia’s northern city of Santa Marta.
The police operation that led to the 22 arrests included raids on 21 different locations in both Santa Marta and the nearby township of Guachaca. Authorities reported that among those captured were, Gustavo Adolfo Giraldo Giraldo, alias “Gustavito,” and Alberto Giraldo, alias “Beto,” who are said to be the second and third in command of the organization, respectively.
The arrests were yet another blow to the Giraldo Clan and their criminal group also known as “La Oficina del Caribe” whose leader, Ruben Giraldo, was captured earlier this week in the capital of Bogota.
After the arrest of Ruben Giraldo, authorities claimed that they would issue arrest warrants for his brothers aliases “Hormiga” and “Cascarita,” claiming that they were in line to inherit the crime syndicate.
The captured leader and his neo-paramilitary group have been battling with rival organization “Los Urabeños,” for local control of the drug and extortion rackets in and around Santa Marta. According to authorities, the violence which has ensued has left 18 dead.
Ruben Giraldo is the nephew of Hernan Giraldo, alias “El Patron,” an extradited former bloc commander of the United Self Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC). Ruben Giraldo, himself a former paramilitary, officially demobilized in 2006 under Colombia’s Justice and Peace process. Last December the Prosecutor General asked that Ruben Giraldo be expelled from the process.
- La Policía desarticuló el “Clan de los Giraldo”, temida organización criminal en Santa Marta (Policia Nacional Press Release)
- Capturan a 22 miembros del clan de los Giraldo (El Tiempo)
- Arrest of Paramilitary Warlord Opens Way For Urabeños (InSightCrime)