HomeNewsBriefColombian Gangs Force Children to Pay to Attend School
BRIEF

Colombian Gangs Force Children to Pay to Attend School

COLOMBIA / 20 APR 2013 BY MICHAEL TATONE EN

Colombian street gangs have taken to extorting school children for the right to attend school, highlighting the increasingly widespread nature of the crime and its impact on daily life in the country.

Criminal gangs in the Medellin neighborhood of El Limonar are demanding 25-50 cents from children in order to attend one of the five schools in the southwest of the city, reported El Colombiano. With approximately 8,000 students in the area, the practice is estimated to earn the gangs up to $4,000 a day.

The story is similar in the north-western department of Cordoba, where gangs linked to neo-paramilitary cartel the Urabeños reportedly charge a $1.00 fee at school entrances. If the student is unable to pay for that day or week, a running tab is kept and at the end of the month the student must then pay $20.00 plus interest of $2.50, according to one mother in the area.

InSight Crime Analysis

Extortion in Colombia is estimated to be worth $1 billion annually and has grown by 229 percent over the last four years. Common criminals are responsible for an estimated 83 percent of cases, while transnational criminal groups like the Urabeños and the Rastrojos commit only 6 percent of reported cases.

In the cases in Medellin and Cordoba, it is unlikely that transnational drug trafficking groups such as the Urabeños are directly responsible for the micro-extortion of students. It is much more probable that those responsible are low-level affiliates of the cartels or street gangs using the name of the drug syndicate to instill fear.

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

COLOMBIA / 19 MAY 2017

A recent visit by top US officials to Mexico and a meeting between the presidents of Colombia and the United…

ELITES AND CRIME / 7 SEP 2021

The visual is an arresting one. A Venezuelan army sergeant, his face swollen and his nose bleeding from a beating,…

COLOMBIA / 26 APR 2013

One of the Urabeños' top commanders was killed in a shootout with police in the organization's native Uraba region,…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution Met With Uproar

6 MAY 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime launched its latest investigation, Venezuela’s Cocaine Revolution¸ accompanied by a virtual panel on its findings. The takeaways from this three-year effort, including the fact that Venezuela…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…