HomeNewsBriefColombia's Next Move against Micro-Trafficking: Demolishing Houses
BRIEF

Colombia's Next Move against Micro-Trafficking: Demolishing Houses

COLOMBIA / 11 APR 2014 BY MIMI YAGOUB EN

Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos has ordered the demolition of numerous buildings used as drug sales points, a strategy that seems to have little practical value and will almost certainly do little more than push micro-traffickers to move to a new nearby location.

Santos declared that Colombia's year old "war on micro-trafficking" has seen the drug sales points known as "ollas" divide and multiple into "mini-ollas."

"We have recognized that if we manage to destroy these mini-ollas -- literally destroy them... we will be able to tackle the root of these mini-structures that are causing so much damage," the head of state said.

Starting on April 11, 92 constructions across Colombia currently used as "ollas" -- the Colombian term for drug sales locations -- will be demolished, El Tiempo reported. The government has plans to repossess a further 400 buildings used for these purposes.

The president made it clear the action was intended in part as a warning to the owners of the houses, stating: "Be very careful who you rent to."

According to Santos, these proceedings have been authorized either by the Prosecutor General's Office or, in some cases, by local mayor's offices. Colombian law allows the state to take over a property being used for illegal activities, without providing any form of compensation to the owner.

InSight Crime Analysis

This is just the Colombian government's latest move in its "total war" on micro-trafficking, which it has labeled one of the biggest threats to national security. Last year, police carried out numerous raids in sectors of cities known to be major drug sales points. However, locals in the city of Medellin told InSight Crime the closing of buildings used as ollas had no effect on drug supply, merely causing the criminals' activities to move a block down.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Micro-trafficking

It is unclear how destroying houses will go beyond this and put an end to a criminal activity that is both deep-rooted and highly adaptable, especially as it is extremely unlikely that the properties are owned by the criminals that use them. As before, the move is unlikely to achieve much except push the problem to a new area,

Furthermore, while the move may be intended as a warning to owners who lend their properties to criminals, it does not account for the fact that many owners are forced to hand the buildings over to these groups.

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 / 7 SEP 2017

The most wanted drug trafficker in Colombia and leader of the powerful Urabeños has offered to surrender himself and his…

COLOMBIA / 27 FEB 2012

The announcement that Colombia's FARC, the region's oldest and largest insurgency, would halt kidnappings was greeted with mixed emotions. But…

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 18 OCT 2018

An investigation into several soldiers in Ecuador who are accused of supplying weapons to an ex-FARC mafia network operating in…

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…