Urabeños

The Urabeños, also known as the Gaitanista Self-Defense Forces, are one of the most ambitious, ruthless and aggressively expansionist of Colombia's drug trafficking organizations. One of a number of groups made up of former mid-level paramilitary leaders, they have caused homicide rates to skyrocket wherever they have appeared.

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Latest News

COLOMBIA / 17 JUN 2021

A criminal group in Colombia is turning dirty money into adulterated gold, in the latest addition to a long list…

COLOMBIA / 2 JUN 2021

The Colombian government has, rather optimistically, announced the demise of one of the country's more aggressive criminal groups, in a…

COLOMBIA / 8 APR 2021

Children serve in a wide range of roles in criminal organizations: errand boy, landmine builder, frontline combatant and assassin. In…

COLOMBIA / 1 APR 2021

As in the darkest days of Colombia's civil conflict, armed groups across the country continue to enlist and exploit teenage…

COLOMBIA / 16 MAR 2021

A leader of what was once Colombia's largest guerrilla organization has announced the revival of one of its most formidable…

COLOMBIA / 10 MAR 2021

The central Colombian department of Antioquia has been the scene of four massacres over the first two months of 2021,…

Key Actors

Marcos de Jesus Figueroa Garcia, alias 'Marquitos'

COLOMBIA / 2016-11-17 14:46:48

Marcos de Jesus Figueroa Garcia, alias "Marquitos," is a powerful underworld figure in Colombia's northeast provinces of La Guajira and Cesar, whose reach extends deep into the region's political establishment.

Roberto Vargas Gutiérrez, alias 'Gavilán'

COLOMBIA / 2017-09-01 17:13:50

Roberto Vargas Gutiérrez, alias "Gavilán," transformed himself from Maoist guerrilla to paramilitary fighter to top leader of the Urabeños. He turned himself in to authorities twice, only to return…

Henry de Jesús López, alias 'Mi Sangre'

COLOMBIA / 2017-03-09 22:14:34

Medellin native Henry de Jesus Lopez, alias "Mi Sangre," had a prolific criminal career that saw him become a key number of several criminal organizations in Colombia.

Dairo Antonio Úsuga, alias 'Otoniel'

COLOMBIA / MARCH 14, 2018

Dairo Antonio Úsuga, alias “Otoniel,” is the head of Colombia’s most powerful criminal group, the Urabeños, and the country’s most wanted man. But his grip on power is slipping as…

Juan de Dios Úsuga, alias 'Giovanni'

COLOMBIA / 2017-03-09 23:54:35

Juan de Dios Usuga, alias "Giovanni," headed the Urabeños' military wing while the group was under the command of Daniel Rendon Herrera, alias "Don Mario."…

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Combating Environmental Crime in Colombia

15 JUN 2021

InSight Crime presented findings from an investigation into the main criminal activities fueling environmental destruction in Colombia.

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8 JUN 2021

Co-director Steven Dudley worked with Chemonics, a DC-based development firm, to analyze the organization’s citizen security programs in Mexico.

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InSight Crime Deepens Its Connections with Universities

31 MAY 2021

A partnership with the University for Peace will complement InSight Crime’s research methodology and expertise on Costa Rica.

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With Support from USAID, InSight Crime Will Investigate Organized Crime in Haiti

31 MAY 2021

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