Over 40 arrests in anti-drug gang offensive

A major offensive against drug gangs in several Colombian cities led to the arrest of more than 40 suspected gang members, two of whom are top traffickers, authorities say.

Police, together with investigators from the Prosecutor General’s Office, carried out the operation in the towns of Puerto Berrio, Barrancabermeja and Puerto Boyaca.

Among the arrested are Phanor Arizabaleta, a convicted member of the Cali cartel and Mario German Satizabal, who is according to the authorities linked to drug gang Los Rastrojos, an offspring of the Norte del Valle cartel. Both are wanted on drugs charges by the United States.

All the detainees are suspected of murder, drug trafficking and stealing oil in the Magdalena Medio region in the center of the country, which is traditionally a hotbed of paramilitary and guerrilla violence.

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