Gangs associated with Medellin crime syndicate Oficina de Envigado and paramilitary group AGC have signed a truce after months of violence and tensions in the west of the city, according to a local crime analysis website.
According to Analisis Urbano, representatives of the Gaitanista Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AGC), La Oficina and associate gangs met between August 22 and August 25 to barter an end to the turf wars.
According to the website, the groups agreed to cease fire and divide contested territory in the western Belen, Robledo and Altavista districts.
The AGC reportedly agreed to withdraw troops they had sent in from their home turf in the Uraba region.
“In the end, these wars are bad for business,” an anonymous crime lord told Analisis Urbano.
According to the website, the crime lords fear that the violent outbreaks increase the chances of effective police intervention that could threaten the groups’ extortion and drug trafficking activities.
Especially the impending visit of Pope Francis would have convinced the crime bosses to end the violence.
“The issue of the arrival of Pope Francis weighs heavily in Medellin for both the legal and illegal [actors],” said Fernando Quijano, the editor-in-chief of Analisis Urbano.
The truce is the second in four years and would put an end to the violence that has terrorized the western periphery of the city for months.
The last truce was signed in 2013 after mediation by members of the city’s political elite that has been intertwined with Medellin’s underworld for decades.
The city’s security secretary was arrested earlier this year on charges he was actively protecting La Oficina instead of combating the group once founded by late drug lord and Congressman Pablo Escobar.