Police in the central Colombian department of Antioquia announced Sunday the arrest of three FARC guerrillas and sixteen members of armed criminal groups over the weekend.
In simultaneous raids which took place in eight different municipalities, the police arrested members of narco-trafficking gangs “Los Urabeños,” “Los Rastrojos,” and “Los Paisas,” and “Aguilas Negras,” as well as three members of the 34th Front of the FARC.
Police claimed that Urabeños members aliases “la Ñata” and “David” were seized on drug charges in the Uramita municipality. Fellow member “Costeño,” a demobililzed paramilitary, was also detained, along with important documentation relating to the gang. Alias “Coliz” from the same group was arrested on suspicion of trying to kill a 31-year-old man, who is now in hospital. A further four members of Los Urabeños are currently being held in custody.
Five members of the Los Rastrojos group were captured in the Valdivia municipality of Antioquia on suspicion of controlling drug routes in northern part of the department.
After a confrontation in the same municipality, two Los Paisas members were reportedly held.
A 22-year-old man, known as “Colmillo,” believed to be a member of the Aquilas Negras paramilitary group was also arrested.
In addition to the sixteen gang members, security forces announced the arrest of a suspected FARC rebel known as “Modesto,” who they claimed was the guerrillas’ leader in the rural Frontino area of Antioquia. In the neighboring Urrao municipality, police reported the capture of two further FARC members, along with three grenades found in their possession.
The news of the arrests follow Colombian President Alvaro Uribe’s orders to members of the armed forces to “work day and night” in order to arrest as many criminals as possible before his term ends on August 7.