At least eight people died during the armed strike generated by the illegal armed group Gulf Clan, from May 5 to 9, in northwestern Colombia.
The criminal gang announced on Monday the end of the ban on daily activities in hundreds of towns and armed attacks that left five members of the public force and three civilians dead, 187 vehicles destroyed and 190 violent acts in 101 municipalities of 10 departments. of the country, according to the latest report from local authorities.
On behalf of the Ministry of Defense, three military personnel, three civilians, two police officers and two alleged criminals were killed, as well as nine uniformed officers wounded.
According to the Investigation and Accusation Unit (UIA) of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP), 178 municipalities in 11 of the 23 departments of the country were affected by violent actions. Said actions left, according to the JEP, 24 civilians and two members of the security forces dead, as well as 26 roads blocked, 138 confined communities and 22 attacks on the security forces.
After the announcement, however, the department of Antioquia, the most affected by the strike with 35 paralyzed municipalities, was the scene of an attack in which two people lost their lives.
The authorities remain on alert and residents of more than 180 Colombian municipalities refuse to leave their homes.
In addition, the transport terminals returned to work, but the flow of passengers was low.
In Antioquia, the Public Companies of Medellin reported shortages in the gas supply in several municipalities, affecting more than 77,000 people. For her part, the Executive President of the Colombian Federation of Road Freight Transporters (Colfecar), Nidia Hernández, reported that the strike left losses of more than USD 3.2 million.
The president of Colombia, Iván Duque, led a session of a security council in Urabá Antioquia after the criminal group’s announcement of the end of its armed strike.
“The Clan del Golfo has tried to intimidate through cowardly acts trying desperately to show a strength that it does not have. The message to these criminals is clear: either they submit to justice or they will suffer the same fate as ‘Otoniel’”, the president was right on Twitter.
In retaliation for the extradition of its leader Dairo Antonio Úsuga, alias “Otoniel”, to the United States, the armed group and drug cartel restricted the movement of thousands of families, terrorized towns and intimidated civilians in the north of the country during the last five days.
On Thursday, May 5, the Clan del Golfo, also known as the Gaitanista Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, Los Urabeños or Clan Úsuga, circulated a pamphlet in which they “decree 4 days of armed strike.” The pamphlet indicated that it was forbidden to “open a business of any kind” and “move in any type of transport.”
The statement ended with the threat of “unfavorable consequences” for those who fail to comply with these measures.
Otoniel, who was extradited on May 5 on drug charges, was Colombia’s most wanted drug lord before he was captured in October 2021 following a massive military operation.
According to the authorities, the Police arrested 102 people responsible for the armed attacks, including alias “Pedro”, one of the top leaders of the Clan del Golfo in the department of Magdalena.
Although thousands of soldiers were deployed in the affected departments, the local authorities criticize the government due to the “shortcomings” regarding the presence of the security forces.
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