Based on sources within Colombia’s Prosecutor General’s Office, the newspaper claimed the members of the heir of the now-defunct Norte del Valle cartel seek to leave the organization after a number of key commanders either surrendered or were arrested, and an ongoing war with “Los Urabeños,” the country’s most powerful neo-paramilitary group.
According to El Tiempo, the requests for an arrangement came from commanders and fighters from the “old-school” part of the organization that was formed by Nortde del Valle capo “Jabon” and later led by Javier Antonio Calle, the former number two of the organization who surrendered to U.S. authorities in May.
Authorities are studying the possibility of a mass-demobilization with care, wary to repeat errors made when some 275 members of neo-paramilitary ERPAC demobilized and immediately were released. That mass demobilization became an embarrassment for the authorities and resulted in the fact that 64 of those who initially surrendered still are off the radar.
The Rastrojos is thought to have between 1,200 and 1,600 members and controls drug trafficking routes to the Pacific Ocean and Venezuela, Authorities say the group has a pact with guerrilla group FARC.