Workers at a Mitsubishi manufacturing north of Medellin have been subject to death threats amid a turf war between local gangs, newspaper El Colombiano reported on Wednesday.
The threats were delivered in the form of a pamphlet, which circulated on social media and claimed that several of those employed by the factory were members of the “Pachelly” gang, which traditionally controls Bello, a municipality in the north of Medellin’s metropolitan area.
The pamphlet targeted a wide variety of employees, and even directors.
The threats contain names and photos of workers and directors deemed to be “military targets” because they are accused of being on the payroll of the Pachelly gang that, according to the pamphlet, uses the factory to aid its criminal activities.
Bello authorities, who are compromised by their own alleged ties to organized crime, said this claim was false.
No group has claimed responsibility for the threat, and police are working to determine exactly who produced it, according to El Colombiano.
Medellin has been suffering from increased gang violence for years and violence in Bello spiked last year when a turf war ignited between the Pachelly gang, Los del Mesa and the Niquia Camacol gang.
So far this year, at least 64 people have been murdered.
The police promised to thoroughly investigate the threats against the Mitsubishi plant. Aburra Valley Police commander Eliecer Camacho vowed to take the threat especially seriously because it was made against a “well-established company” that was “boosting our economy and creating jobs.”
To curb the ongoing violence, local authorities have introduced a number of measures.
Police reinforcements and army patrols have been sent into neighborhoods, and a curfew has been announced for minors.
Authorities have also banned carrying passengers on motorcycles in a bid to curb drive-by shootings in the area.
However, these measures have made no significant impact on the gangs that have controlled much of the city and have infiltrated local authorities for decades.