That is the main conclusion from a report compiled by the Organization Nuevo Arco Iris (New Rainbow) about the phenomenon of crime in big cities.
Bogota is highly sought after by criminals because it is the biggest market for selling drugs and money laundering, said director Leon Valencia.
“Bogota is surrounded by BACRIM,” according to Valencia.
BACRIM refers to criminal organizations that have been formed from the demobilizated paramilitary AUC and the extinct Norte del Valle Cartel.
The town of San Cristobal in the southeast of Bogota is a potential hot spot for criminal activity. A further six hot spots will be revealed when the whole report is released in the coming months.
The information was released to the Senate on Friday along with a map of criminal gangs in the country.
The government released the following statistics about neo-paramilitary and drug organizations that are jeopardizing the country’s security.
- There are an estimated 4,200 members of criminal gangs
- The criminal gangs have influence in 151 municipalities in 17 departments. They are “Los Urabeños”, “Los Rastrojos”, “Los Paisas”, “Erpac”, “Renacer” and “Nueva Generacion”.
- They have a significant capacity to recruit, recycle old paramilitaries and demobilized paramilitaries and operate with characteristics similar to those of paramilitaries.
- Exercise territorial control but don’t have political ideology.
- They attempt to appropriate public resources and for this attempt to capture various territories before the upcoming October elections.
- Use gangs to support their operation, but not necessarily linked to the organization. “They use the outsourcing model”.
Police have attributed 290 murders to the criminal organisations so far this year, although this is suspected to be an underestimation.