Colombia’s Defense Minister on Thursday claimed fourteen ringleaders of neo-paramilitary drug gang Los Rastrojos were arrested, leaving 800 men involved in the organization without leader.
The arrest were made in the southwestern departments of Nariño, Cauca and Valle del Cauca, Minister Gabriel Silva told press.
“This has become the most important blow to the structure of this organization, now that around 800 members of this criminal gang are left without command,” Silva said.
According to National Police director Oscar Naranjo, the arrest were made in more than a dozen operations in the south west of the country.
Naranjo said that the men below those captured are responsible for more than 300 crimes involving murder, kidnapping, extortion, recruitment of minors and forced displacement, all means to expand the criminal organization’s power.
Los Rastrojos, mainly operating in the Pacific region of Colombia, is one of the most powerful neo-paramilitary drug organizations of the country.