The Victory of the Urabeños - The New Face of Colombian Organized Crime
The mad scramble for criminal power in the aftermath of the demobilization of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) is over. The Urabeños, or as they prefer to call themselves, the Gaitanistas, have come out on top.
Recent reports warn that one of Colombia's biggest criminal groups may be recruiting dissident guerrilla fighters, another indication that new actors are moving in on criminal operations formerly controlled by the guerrillas.
Top officials in Colombia have recognized a phenomenon that has become increasingly apparent to observers of the FARC peace process: criminal groups are taking control of areas abandoned by the guerrillas.
Authorities in Peru are warning about the involvement of Colombian crime groups in loan sharking, suggesting these organizations are expanding their participation in this activity outside of their home country.
One of Colombia's most powerful criminal organizations is reportedly asking to be included in an ongoing peace process between the government and the country's main guerrilla group, a decision that may have been influenced by increased pressure from state security forces.
The mad scramble for criminal power in the aftermath of the demobilization of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) is over. The Urabeños, or as they prefer to call themselves, the "Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia," have won.