The Oficina, founded in the 1980s by late drug lord Pablo Escobar, is the main criminal organization in Medellin and has controlled the many drug trafficking, drug dealing and extortion rackets taking place in the city for decades.
The organization was long controlled by former paramilitary commander “Don Berna,” but violently reorganized after the AUC chief was extradited to the United States in 2008 where he is currently serving a 31-year prison sentence for drug trafficking.
The commander admitted that most of his group’s income is derived from drug dealing and trafficking, and extortion, or “contributions to security” in neighborhoods where police have no to little control.
In an interview with program “Los Informantes,” one of the group’s commanders, alias “Pantera,” claimed that he has some 2,000 armed militia members under his command.
According to previous reports, Pantera is one of the members of the executive board of the Oficina, which according to the crime lord, has a vast number of corrupt policemen on its payroll.
“Our biggest ally here in Medellin is the police. Members of the police are receiving approximately 200 thousand to 300 thousand pesos [, between $80 and $120,] per week from us,” meaning that some lower-ranked policemen would receive approximately one third of their monthly income from the Oficina.
For the crime syndicate, this is a minor expense. According to “Financiero,” one of the group’s financial administrators, the group controls some 80 “plazas” or drug dealing points in each of the city’s 16 districts.
The drug dealing and extortion activities generate $1.3 million per month, said Financiero.
La Amenaza de las BaCrim (Caracol TV)