HomeNewsBriefUrabeños and Oficina De Envigado in Medellin Ceasefire
BRIEF

Urabeños and Oficina De Envigado in Medellin Ceasefire

COLOMBIA / 30 JUL 2013 BY MIRIAM WELLS EN

Colombia's most powerful criminal network the Urabeños may have entered into a pact with rivals Oficina de Envigado in Medellin, where the battle for control of the city has costs thousands of lives.

According to Medellin-based NGO Corporation for Peace and Social Development (Corpades), the two gangs have agreed a ceasefire as part of the preliminary stages of a truce, reported El Colombiano. If by December the ceasefire has seen results then the aim is to massively extend the agreement into a wide-ranging truce, which would include provisions for an end to child recruitment, forced displacement, extortion in lower income neighborhoods and a host of other crimes that are part and parcel of life in Colombia's second city.

Corpades President Fernando Quijano, an expert on Medellin's conflict, outlined an ambitious proposal for the eventual pact in which the two gangs would ultimately stop selling drugs to children, stop collaborating with members of state institutions and erase invisible borders in a "gradual diminution of territorial, social, economic and military control by the two structures and their more than 350 groups which operate in the metropolitan area."

The proposal also includes plans for the withdrawal of the military from conflict-heavy neighborhoods and and their replacement with a community police force.

The aim was not to end the city's conflict, said Quijano, but to turn it "from a violent one into a social one." If the first phase was successful a "period of discussion and negotiation on all topics" would begin in January next year.

Medellin Security Secretary Arnulfo Serna told El Colombiano: "It is clear a pact has been agreed between some criminal structures. However murders continue."

InSight Crime Analysis

Medellin has been the center of Colombia's underworld for years, with domestic microtrafficking, extortion and lucrative drug trafficking routes out of the city earning gangs tens of millions of dollars a year.

The city has been controlled by the Oficina de Envigado since the death of Pablo Escobar, but in recent years the group has splintered while the powerful Urabeños have been muscling in, contracting street gangs to fight a proxy war against their rivals.

Currently, the Oficina retains control of more territory in the city, according to Corpades' mapping of the city's conflict zones, but the Urabeños have been making steady progress seizing strategically important zones from their sorely weakened opponents.

At this stage it remains unclear exactly what each group hopes to achieve through a ceasefire, or if it could lead to permenant shifts in Medellin's criminal dynamic. However it seems unlikely the powerful interests that profit from the city's underworld will be prepared to walk away from the lucrative criminal opportunities on offer.

Note: Fernando Quijano contacted InSight Crime to note that he does not refer to the Oficina de Envigado but the Oficina de Valle de Aburra (the region where Medellin is located) as a more accurate reflection of the group's structure and areas of influence. However, InSight has continued to use the term Oficina de Envigado as the more commonly used and easily recognized label applied to this criminal structure. 

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

AUC / 26 OCT 2021

Accused Colombian trafficker Dairo Antonio Úsuga, alias “Otoniel,” has been on the radar of US prosecutors for more than a…

BRAZIL / 7 OCT 2022

Latin America's environmental and land protectors are routinely murdered by the regions criminals.

COLOMBIA / 5 JUL 2022

Up to seven commanders belonging to the dissident FARC have been killed in Colombia and Venezuela in the last year.

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Escaping Barrio 18

27 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an investigation charting the story of Desafío, a 28-year-old Barrio 18 gang member who is desperate to escape gang life. But there’s one problem: he’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

Europe Coverage Makes a Splash

20 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an analysis of the role of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as an arrival hub for cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico.  The article was picked up by…

THE ORGANIZATION

World Looks to InSight Crime for Mexico Expertise

13 JAN 2023

Our coverage of the arrest of Chapitos’ co-founder Ovidio Guzmán López in Mexico has received worldwide attention.In the UK, outlets including The Independent and BBC…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Shares Expertise with US State Department

16 DEC 2022

Last week, InSight Crime Co-founder Steven Dudley took part in the International Anti-Corruption Conference organized by the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Immediate Response to US-Mexico Marijuana Investigation

9 DEC 2022

InSight Crime’s investigation into how the legalization of marijuana in many US states has changed Mexico’s criminal dynamics made a splash this week appearing on the front page of…