Information from concerned parents, along with help from the Anti-kidnapping and Anti-extortion Unit, led to the captures of the extortionists by National Police.
The criminal operation, headed by unemployed 22-year-old “El Gordo,” sent 9th and 10th grade adolescents to local elementary schools to intimidate and extort money from children aged between eight and 12 using sharp weapons, states a report from the National Police.
The children were reportedly given a week to come up with anywhere between $25 and $60 in order to stave off attacks from older delinquents.
Months of police investigation following initial reports from parents ultimately led to the criminal group’s collapse.
Police captured 111 minors dedicated to extortion in 2010, while the departments with the most incidences of child extortion in 2010-2011 are Antioquia, with 39 cases, followed by Valle de Cauca and Cauca with 12 cases.