Elite police unit deployed in Cali

in response to increasing violence in the city of Cali, Colombia’s defense minister on Friday announced the reactivation of the famous ‘search bloc’ police unit which operated against the Cali drug cartels in the ’90s.

“In Cali we are going to go after the heads of the small, mid level and large criminal gangs which are affecting the peace of mind of all Cali citizens,” said the Minister of Defense Juan Carlos Pinzon, in a statement on Friday.

The unit consists of 700 members from the Judicial Police, the prosecutor general’s Technical Investigation Unit (CTI), the National Army, the elite hostage-rescue force (GAULA), and elite combat groups, who will again be deployed in Cali to confront the escalating violence attributed to drug trafficking gangs including ‘los Rastrojos’ and ‘los Urabeños’.

MORE: Increase of homicides in Cali worrying: Ombudsman

The unit will be divided into special task forces who will each specialize in a specific area, including homicide, intelligence, and strategic “shock operations.”

Cali Mayor Roberto Guerrero revealed that they had asked for the reactivation after the percentage of the homicide rate attributed to violence between the drug trafficking gangs reached 45%.

FACT SHEET: Cali crime statistics


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