Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos on Wednesday claimed that the influence and power of organized criminal gangs known as “Bacrim” is severely reduced across the country.
The President claimed that gangs such as “Los Rastrojos” no longer have the capacity to maintain their influence on a national level.
“The heads of these groups have been targeted month after month,” said Santos. “All the gang leaders who held reigns of these ‘Bacrim’ a year ago, have either been captured or gone underground.”
Santos declared that while these groups do usually rearm themselves, the security forces had delivered a significant blow to their underlying structure, affirming that “the only gang that currently has retained influence at a national level is ‘Los Urabeños‘.”
PROFILE: Los Urabeños
While these statements may be true, the subsequent separation that comes from dismantling established and powerful criminal organizations, carries its own set of challenges, usually in the form of bloody infighting between splinter groups. Indeed, this is exactly what is happening in the city of Medellin.
The Colombian government recently stationed National Police Director, Jose Roberto Leon, in Medellin to take charge of the “security crisis” that has engulfed Colombia’s second largest city.
- Las bacrim están reducidas y las vamos a seguir reduciendo: Presidente Santos (Presidencia de la Republica)