Earlier this week Medellín Police found two dead bodies inside a parked Renault in the Campoamor neighborhood in the south-west of the city. The prosecution informed that the double murder was most likely to be a retaliation between drug traffickers. the murder on these two assumed gangsters is just an example of the recent boom of drugs related crime that has been worrying the local authorities.During a forum held in the city this week, several participants describes how the war between different drug gangs to control the crops and the distribution of drugs like cocaine and marihuana, led to an increase of murders since the end of last year.Alonso Salazar, mayor of Medellín, spoke of six criminal structures currently active the city, not only in the poor neighborhoods, but also in more wealthy areas like the centre, Laureles, América and Belén.The most dominant criminal organization, according to the mayor, is led by Mario Rendón, or ‘Don Mario’, brother of ‘The German’ Freddy Rendón, who is currently serving time in Itaguí high security prison. After the demobilization last year of the paramilitary groups that ran the drugtrade in the city, Don Mario filled the criminal void.In an IPC interview, published by Semana earlier, Oscar Naranjo, chief of police in Medellín, also reaffirmed the importance of ‘Rogelio’ as the one responsible for a lot of the heavy crime in Medellín. ‘Rogelio’ also seemed to have benefited from the demobilization of paramilitary groups, particularly in the south of the city. Naranjo admits the lack of cohesion after the demobilization of paramilitary forces has been in favour of criminals like ‘Rogelio’, giving them free way to take over the streets.Cuban press agency CPI last year warned of the threat the thriving drug trade poses on the continuation of programs for the thousands of demobilized paramilitary soldiers. Drugs gangs offer these ‘desmovilizados’ one and a half million Colombian pesos (US$800)per month if they join them. Salazar announced to form a special force within the police to deal with criminal desmovilizados and says he wants to “cleanse those who are committing crimes”.An increase of reports in the past few months of drive-by murders, or ‘sicariato’, could back the theory that desmovilizados are returning to crime, but the mayor defuses this theory. According to him these kind of murders never really had gone away.But murder isn’t the only manifestation of crime in Medellín. There’s also evidence of intimidation, coordinated by leaders of drug gangs.Medellín still is much safer than it was fifteen years ago, but the recent developments in crime, following the demobilization of the paramilitary groups and the deconstruction of paramilitary structures, force not only the local, but also the national authorities, to put renewed force in the deteriorating situation in and around the city.This article is based on Semana’s ‘Narcotráfico amenaza logros de Medellín’. If you find any irregularities or inconsistencies in the article feel free to leave a response or send an email.
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