In early May, much of northern Colombia was blocked by an “armed strike” by the powerful local drug cartel Clan del Golfo in retaliation for the extradition of its leader. For days, residents were not allowed to move or work, vehicles were set on fire and assassinated. The “strike” is over, but for residents, that doesn’t mean the group’s violence has stopped.
On May 4, the chief of Clan del Golfo, Dairo Antonio Usuga, alias “Otoniel”, was killed extradited to the United States. He is believed to be the largest Colombian drug dealer in recent years and was arrested in October 2021.
In retaliation, as early as May 5, his group organized an “armed strike” that sealed off much of northern Colombia: residents were prohibited from leaving their homes to move or work, vehicles were burned, roads were blocked, and the first The acronym AGC (which stands for Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia, another name for Clan del Golfo) is drawn in various places… In addition, assassinations of civilians, police and soldiers are listed: at least 14 According to the NGO Indepaz, twenty four According to the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP).
Abandoned street in Santiago de Tolu, province of Sucre (The location is here) : “I want something to eat, how hungry I am,” the netizen wrote while on vacation in the area on the 5th possible 2022. The next day he published a similar videosfilmed at the same location.
Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia (AGC) dejan mensajes a las afueras del palacio urban de #corozal
— Corozal Noticias (@corozalnoticias) May 5, 2022
The AGC sign (The location is here).
In total, about 100 cities in about 10 provinces were affected, including large cities like Monteria. In most places, the “strike” ends after four days.
An assessment of the “armed strike” in Clan del Golfo, produced by the NGO Indepaz.
“If people don’t follow the rules of Clan del Golfo, they can be beaten or killed”
Alberto (pseudonym) works in a village in the province of Bolivar. For security reasons, he wishes to remain anonymous, like everyone our editorial staff interviews.
In the village, people have been hiding at home during the four-day “armed strike”. We think they are afraid. Me, I just went out once and knocked several times looking for bread because all the shops were closed and I only met two or three people. Fortunately, I have food supplies at home. On the other hand, on the fourth day I ran out of oil for cooking.
On May 5, a number of motorcycles were burned and the Clan del Golfo man stopped a gentleman’s car carrying passengers outside the village.they take them down and then they burn down the vehicle and pulled in his direction. I’m assuming the driver doesn’t know about “armed strikes”, otherwise he wouldn’t risk moving.
Members of the Clan del Golfo set the car on fire and opened fire after knocking over its occupants in southern Barranco de Loba, Bolivar province, on the 5th. possible 2022.
In the village, the police did nothing during the “strike”. But there aren’t many of them, I think they have a connection to Clan del Golfo.
many social leaders Criticized for lack of response from the state In areas affected by “armed attacks”. In particular, Colombian President Iván Duque waited until May 9 to organize a Security Council on the issue.government make sure During the “strike”, a hundred men were also arrested, more than 19,000 soldiers were deployed and convoys organized to secure roads.
After the “strike” ended, everything went back to normal. But the people of Clan del Golfo still exist in the area: some even come from the village. Here, those who own gas stations or large farms have to pay them a monthly “donation,” which could represent over a million pesos. [soit plus de 235 euros, l’équivalent du salaire minimum colombien, NDLR]. Farmers who grow and process coca are also forced to sell their products to Clan del Golfo at low prices. If people don’t follow these rules, they can be beaten or killed. People accused of selling stolen cattle were even killed before the “strike”.
A Sotrauraba bus catches fire in Antioquia on May 5 2022.
An almost empty road in the Dabeba region of Antioquia province when the “armed strike” began. Video taken by people working in the area.
“The violence will never stop until the state invests in social affairs”
Andres (pseudonym) lives in the district of Monts de María, in the province of Sucre.
Clan del Golfo shut down the entire area for several days: I never thought it was possible! That is, There has been violence in the Monts de María area for years. For example, in the past there were Chen Ge massacreassassination…
Violence will never stop until the state invests in social affairs. Here, many young people are unemployed, so they are willing to take any job that allows them to bring food home. Also, the school is abandoned: the students sit on the floor, unmarked… In the health center, if you want to receive treatment, you have to buy everything yourself: syringes, aspirin… Also, many The roads are all dirt and become impassable when it rains. So when crops cannot be sold, they are lost.
Colombia has enacted other “armed strike” decrees in the past, notably the ELN guerrillas last february. But analysts agree that they have never been as massive and violent as those organized by the Golfo family, and the Colombian president announced the arrest of “Ottonier” last October ” Mark[uait] Finish” this cartel.