According to the jailed crime lord, he could help demobilize the organization that has approximately 5,000 members in some 240 gangs.
President Juan Manuel Santos last week ratified a bill that allows large illegal armed groups to receive judicial benefits if they surrender to justice, dismantle their criminal rackets and repair their victims.
The first group that is expected to take part in such a collective demobilization would be the AGC, the country’s largest paramilitary group.
The AGC and La Oficina abandoned a peace process with paramilitary umbrella organization AUC between 2003 and 2006, and have been fighting over control in Medellin and the surrounding Antioquia province.
AGC leader “Otoniel” is expected to demobilize a large part of the organization that controls much of Colombia’s countryside, particularly in the northwest of the country.
In a letter to Santos and President-elect Ivan Duque, Tom said he could promote the surrender of the majority of members of La Oficina, but is seeking “a large dose of restorative justice that will provide some relief to the victims of the urban conflict.”
Basically, Tom wants demobilized gang members to spend their sentence doing community service in the neighborhoods they victimized rather than spend time in Medellin’s overcrowded prisons.
Whether that will be acceptable for the conservative Duque, who will take office on August 7, is uncertain.
The incoming president, who is supported by conservatives and far-right extremists alike, said last week that his predecessor lacked “forcefulness” to effectively reduce violence and crime in Colombia.
Duque appointed hard-line business leader Guillermo Botero to be his defense minister on Tuesday and has yet to present his security and peace policies before Congress.
One of his challenges will be to reduce violence in Medellin, where fighting between gangs aligned with either the AGC and La Oficina spurred a 30% increase in homicides.