HomeNewsBriefColombia's Urabeños Order Strike, Seek Peace Negotiations?
BRIEF

Colombia's Urabeños Order Strike, Seek Peace Negotiations?

COLOMBIA / 2 APR 2016 BY MICHAEL LOHMULLER EN

Colombia criminal organization the Urabeños' recently decreed 24-hour strike emptied streets and nearly paralyzed daily activities in the group's areas of influence, suggesting a deep social penetration and perhaps a desire to be included in ongoing peace processes.

A pamphlet dated March 29 and signed by the "Estado Mayor" (General Staff) of the Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia, as the Urabeños are also known, called for the suspension of "all type of economic, work, or academic activity" from midnight March 31 until midnight April 1, reported Pacifista.

The pamphlet (seen below) circulated in several departments along Colombia's Caribbean coast, including Antioquia, Chocó, Córdoba, Cesar, and Bolívar. The stated reason for the strike was to commemorate the death of a former Urabeños member, José Morelo Peñate, alias "Negro Sarley," killed in April 2013 during a police operation.

16-01-04-Colombia-Pamphlet

On March 31, Semana reports life in areas of the Urabá region -- the Urabeños' stronghold -- came to a standstill, with public transportation shutting down, businesses closing, and residents staying indoors.

One police officer and an army captain were killed during the strike. Their deaths are presumed to be part of the Urabeños "Plan Pistola," which offers money to anyone that kills a police officer.

According to El Espectador, at least six police officers have been killed in their area's of influence since the Urabeños initiated Plan Pistola in response to the death of Jairo de Jesús Durango, alias "Guagua," a top leader killed by security forces on March 23.

This is the second time the Urabeños have called a strike. The first occurred in 2012 in retaliation for the death of Juan de Dios Úsuga, alias "Giovanni," and affected six departments, reported El Espectador.

InSight Crime Analysis

The complete halt of daily life in response to the Urabeños' call for a strike speaks to the mental, if not physical, sway the group holds over communities in their zones of influence. It also demonstrates the Urabeños' continued strength, despite being the target of an ongoing security operation that seeks to capture its leader, Dairo Antonio Úsuga David, alias "Otoniel."

SEE ALSO:Urabeños News and Profile

Beyond demonstrating the group's social penetration, however, the strike raises the question of what they hope to achieve.

The strike follows closely on the announcement that guerrillas of the National Liberation Army (Ejército de Liberación Nacional – ELN) and Colombian government have opened formal peace negotiations. Negotiations with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia – FARC) are at an advanced stage.

Ariel Ávila, an investigator with Colombia's Foundation for Peace and Reconciliation (Fundación Paz y Reconciliación), told El Espectador the Urabeños might be hoping "to get something out of the peace process with the FARC and now the ELN."

SEE ALSO:Colombia News and Profiles

The Urabeños have previously expressed a desire to open a peace process for their demobilization. Their strike pamphlet conveyed support for Colombia's ongoing peace negotiations and called for an end to armed conflict that included a "dignified exit" for Urabeños members.

The Colombian government, however, has so far given few public indications it intends to open talks with the outlaw group.

Nonetheless, for Diego Sierra, coordinator of the Observatory for Human Rights and Peace (Observatorio de Derechos Humanos y Paz) at Colombia's Popular Training Institute (Instituto Popular de Capacitación) the Urabeños' message to the government is clear: "Negotiate with us."

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

COCA / 12 OCT 2016

Peru has eradicated more than 22,000 hectares of coca so far in 2016, suggesting yet another year of declining cultivation…

AUC / 2 JUN 2014

Colombia's High Court ordered the exclusion of Miguel Angel Mejia Munera, alias "El Mellizo," who is accused of trafficking drugs…

COLOMBIA / 11 MAY 2011

Police in the south Colombia department of Nariño seized more than 280 shirts and 230 scarves in camouflage print, featuring…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.

THE ORGANIZATION

Series on Environmental Crime in the Amazon Generates Headlines

17 SEP 2021

InSight Crime and the Igarapé Institute have been delighted at the response to our joint investigation into environmental crimes in the Colombian Amazon. Coverage of our chapters dedicated to illegal mining…