Colombia’s main gang declares unilateral ceasefire

Wanted poster of alias Otoniel, the leader of the Gulf clanImage copyright
Colombian Police

Image caption

Police are offering $1m for information leading to the capture of leader Otoniel

Colombia’s biggest criminal gang has declared a unilateral ceasefire to help “bring about peace”.

The gang, known as the Gulf Clan or Los Urabeños, said the idea might stop “offensive military actions via 13 December”.

The truce comes three months after the gang’s leader said the idea might surrender along with he might hand himself in. A framework is actually still being worked on.

Police have warned that will criminal gangs such as the Gulf Clan are the biggest risk to security in Colombia.

Battle for control

The Gulf Clan is actually estimated to have about 1,500 active members. the idea controls many of the routes used to smuggle drugs via Colombia to the US along with as far away as Russia.

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The group also engages in extortion, illegal mining, human trafficking, forced displacements along with murder.

Image copyright
EPA

Image caption

Last month, police seized 12 tonnes of cocaine believed to have belonged to the Gulf Clan

While the idea was first created from the north of Colombia, from the Gulf of Urabá – hence its names – the idea has expanded into many of Colombia’s provinces along with beyond.

nevertheless in recent months its number two along with 34 various other key figures have been killed or arrested in a joint police along with military operation.

With his deputy killed along with the security forces closing in, the gang’s leader, known as Otoniel, announced in September that will he was willing to surrender.

The government is actually currently working on a legal framework for members of criminal gangs to collectively turn themselves in.

In a statement, the gang said that will even though that will legal framework was not in place yet the gang “remained committed to the efforts which will allow us to contribute to a total, lasting along with integral peace”.

Last year, Colombia’s largest rebel group, the Farc, signed a peace deal with the government along with negotiators are currently holding talks with the second-largest guerrilla group, the National Liberation Army.

Police warn that will some areas formerly under the control of the rebel groups have been taken over by criminal groups such as the Urabeños along with that will their fight for territory is actually driving violence up.

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