United States prosecutors have indicted 56 Colombians who are accused of drug trafficking, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida announced Friday.
According to U.S. Attorney Wilfredo Ferrer, the high number of indictments is the result of a renewed U.S.-Colombian counter-narcotics strategy focused on neo-paramilitary groups and other drug trafficking organizations announced in February.
Ferrer said that since the formation of the special prosecution unit within the Narcotics Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office that is focused primarily on these so-called “BACRIM,” more than a 100 drug traffickers have been indicted.
“Together with our law enforcement partners in Colombia, we have developed a proactive strategy to combat the rise of the BACRIM. Our common goal is simple: target the BACRIM leadership, dismantle their narco-trafficking operations, and eliminate the threat they pose to the security of the region and the international community,” Ferrer said at a press conference Friday.
The indictment of 56 Colombians arrested in two separate operations “are an excellent example of the results that the partnership between the United States and Colombian law enforcement can produce when combining efforts and resources. The Drug Enforcement Administration is committed to continuing these efforts and expect to see the downfall of BACRIMs, just as our past joint efforts eliminated other large scale Colombian-based drug trafficking organizations,” DEA Special Agent in Charge Mark R. Trouville said at the same press conference.
BACRIM are groups that were formed by members of the demobilized paramilitary organization AUC and groups formed from the now defunct Norte del Valle Cartel. These groups, together with left-wing guerrilla groups like the FARC, own the majority of drug trafficking routes exporting Colombian cocaine to north America.