HomeNewsBriefReport Details Potential Surrender Agreement With Urabeños in Colombia
BRIEF

Report Details Potential Surrender Agreement With Urabeños in Colombia

COLOMBIA / 20 OCT 2017 BY PARKER ASMANN EN

A new document has surfaced detailing the potential surrender terms for Colombia's most powerful criminal group, in what is the first glimpse of what such a deal may look like.

Colombia's Ministry of Justice (Ministerio de Justicia) has allegedly presented the Criminal Policy Council (Consejo de Política Criminal) with a working document detailing the surrender terms for Dairo Antonio Úsuga, alias "Otoniel," and the Urabeños, or the Gaitanista Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia - AGC), El Tiempo reported

SEE ALSO: Urabeños News and Profile 

According to the document obtained exclusively by El Tiempo, the surrender terms would not only apply to the Urabeños' largest structures like those of Otoniel and his closest allies, which have a unified command, exert territorial control and use violence against security forces, but also smaller groups of three or more individuals acting together to commit crimes. 

In order to initiate their surrender, a written document must first be provided to the attorney general (AG) detailing their willingness to comply with the surrender terms, in addition to their areas of influence, the number of people surrendering and their identities. 

After the demobilization site and terms for disarmament are determined, the AG would then be able to issue arrest warrants. The AG would reportedly handle all negotiations because, as President Juan Manuel Santos stated, this would not be a "political negotiation." The surrender process would not last more than a month, according to El Tiempo.

Additionally, those who turn themselves in will also have to disclose drug trafficking routes and drug lab locations, as well as their money laundering networks. They would allegedly be able to retain five percent of the assets they forfeit to authorities, in addition to receiving up to a 40 percent reduction in their criminal penalties, according to El Tiempo. 

The 40 percent reduction in criminal penalties is still being debated, according to the newspaper, and will depend on "the effectiveness and degree of collaboration with authorities, satisfaction with victim's rights and the end of criminal activities."

Otoniel offered to surrender himself and the Urabeños to Colombian authorities in September after security forces killed the group's second-in-command Roberto Vargas Gutiérrez, alias "Gavilán." 

InSight Crime Analysis 

The Colombian government has largely been lukewarm about the logistics of a possible surrender from the Urabeños, but this latest document suggests that it has in fact been working diligently to draft up a deal, showing that it is taking the process seriously and may even be trying to finalize an agreement before President Santos leaves office. 

SEE ALSO: Colombia News and Profiles 

One of the most interesting aspects of the possible surrender terms is the possibility that those who do in fact surrender could retain five percent of the assets they forfeit and potentially see up to a 40 percent reduction in their criminal penalties. Judicial benefits and the totality of assets forfeited have come under question in the historic peace agreement the Colombian government signed with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia - FARC) in 2016. 

Indeed, the FARC's assets have come under heavy scrutiny throughout the peace process largely due to doubts regarding whether or not the former guerrillas have reported their total wealth. And several Colombian drug traffickers have tried to pass themselves off as demobilized FARC members to seize upon the judicial benefits offered by the government. These problems could also surface with the Urabeños possible surrender.

However, while the supposed deal is an advance for the Colombian government, this is just the beginning and doubts remain regarding whether it will dismantle the Urabeños' structure. The Urabeños have subcontracted much of their criminal activities to other smaller groups acting on their behalf. And while having Otoniel and some of his closest personnel out of the picture will likely debilitate the structure he controls, it could allow for other previously subcontracted groups to continue with their criminal activities on behalf of, or instead of, the Urabeños.

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 / 14 NOV 2013

The man believed to have replaced "Emerald Czar" Victor Carranza as the most powerful figure in Colombia's emerald trade has…

COLOMBIA / 28 OCT 2016

The presidents of Colombia and Mexico have promised to deepen cooperation on matters of organized crime and security as both…

COCA / 6 AUG 2019

A new UN study shows that while Colombia saw a slight drop in coca crop plantations between 2017 and 2018,…

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…