Colombian authorities say “Los Urabeños,” the neo-paramilitary group that shut down northern Colombia for two days last week, is offering $1,000 rewards for killing policemen.
Jose Guzman Patino, commander of the 6th district of the Antioquia police department, said forces were on high alert after capturing a member of Los Urabeños as he tried to attack a police station.
He said the drug trafficking group had offered $1,000 for every police officer killed, in retaliation for the assassination of their leader Juan de Dios Usuga, alias “Giovanni,” at the beginning of the month.
The strategy seems a repeat of the 2009 attempt by the founder of Los Urabeños, “Don Mario,” who also allegedly ordered his men to attack any member of the police or army in return for $1,000 rewards.
“A feeling of fear persists in the Antioquian community, especially in Uraba,” said Guzman. “There is fear about these groups who are the product of a peace process which has not been successful.”
Los Urabeños are the largest neo-paramilitary group formed by mid-level commanders of the officially demobilized AUC. The group is one of the main drug trafficking organizations in Colombia with a concentrated power in the north of the country.