Colombian authorities on Friday captured 14 alleged members of neo-paramilitary group “Los Urabeños.”
The Colombian army detained the alleged Urabeños members near the Venezuelan border during an operation carried out in the northern village of Manaure of the northeast La Guajira department.
Army Colonel Nelson Vanegas claimed that, “after several months of monitoring we knew where the guys were who have done so much damage to this city in recent months, causing damage to homes and businesses,” according to Semana weekly.
The military allegedly seized 10 rifles, four shotguns, six revolvers, a pistol and an abundance of ammunition along with the 14 Urabeños, one of which was shot and injured during the operation, reported CMI newscast. The injured neo-paramilitary member was subsequently taken to the hospital where he received care.
The Urabeños violently took control of the country’s Caribbean coast following the demobilization of the umbrella paramilitary group AUC between 2003 and 2006. The group has been accused of being responsible for terrorist attacks “against housing and public facilities” in the area.
According to a report done by the Institute of Study for Development and Peace (Indepaz), released in February this year, criminal gangs including the Urabeños, had a criminal presence in 31 of 32 departments in Colombia. The Urabeños are allegedly active in 18 of these departments, mostly in the north of the country. The group was also responsible for shutting down businesses and public transport in the northern Colombia earlier this year.