During a Security Council held in Tulua, Uribe said that the gangs from within prison are using telephones and pamphlets to continuing to extort money from Tulua businesspeople and that “worst of all, many are continuing to pay.”
The authorities claim to have evidence that the perpetrators of such calls are criminals identified by alias as ‘Hugo’, ‘Pecas’, ‘Rumi’, and ‘Jhon Estiven’, the most recent head of ‘Los Rastrojos’ and who, according to the President, “is the marketing manager of drugs in the center of the department.”
He thus emphasized to senior military and police officials that “these criminals must be stopped,” reported Santa Fe Radio.
At the security council, President Uribe also denounced “a terrorist training center where they practice target shooting” outside of Tulua in the village of Tres Esquinas. For Uribe, the most worrying fact is that there is a police station located very close to the site.
“[We will all have to let our consciences guide us] to know which members of the security forces have links to armed groups outside the law,” he said. He also ordered the Armed Forces to verify the claim that there are guerrillas crossing Ginebra.
At the meeting, the President also expressed concern regarding the “express kidnappings” taking place in the municipality of Versalles in the Valle del Cauca department, where farmers and ranchers have been held for a day or two at a time, “until they get the money.”
Finally, he stressed the policy of issuing rewards as a strategy for finding criminals. “We have to completely cover Tulua, ask radio stations, print media, local television stations, to [report on a list] of our most wanted,” he said.