Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said Thursday that “Los Urabeños” should be dubbed differently as their current name stigmatizes the general population of the region where the neo-paramilitary group is from and named after.
President Juan Manuel Santos made the announcement while touring the region of Uraba, from which the name the Urabeños derives.
FACT SHEET: Urabeños
According to Santos, those living in the region should be referred to as “proud urabenses” and not “urabeños” as the name has grown to have too much stigma attached to it. Furthermore the armed gang of “Los Urabeños” should be renamed de “Usuga Clan” after the last name of their current commander-in-chief, said Santos.
The neo-paramilitary group was founded by Daniel Rendon, alias “Don Mario,” who used his home of Uraba as a base to create the armed group, funded with money made from drug trafficking, extortion and contract killings.
The group calls itself the Gaitanista Self-Defense Forces of Colombia.
Santos berated former Commander General of Police, Jose Roberto Leon, for mainstreaming the Urabeños name which the former top police official had borrowed from the group’s informal name used in other regions of Colombia since the 1990s to refer to Uraba-born paramilitary forces.
The president explained that “you are not Urabeños, you are not Uribistas, you are Urabaenses…you are good, honest, hard-working,” stated Santos.
Santos then went on to state that he will “force the Commissioner of Police to change the name [of the gang] because it stigmatizes Uraba, a region that has given so much to the country.”
The president closed by calling for the people of the region to help themselves and promised to “continue to make investments that you deserve and need.”
- ‘Clan Úsuga’, nuevo nombre de ‘Los Urabeños’ (El Espectador)
- El nuevo nombre de ‘Los Urabeños’ es ‘Clan Úsuga’ (Colombia.com)
- A los habitantes del Urabá no se les puede seguir diciendo ‘Urabeños’: Santos (El Espectador)