U.S. authorities announced a 'new chapter in the fight against drug trafficking' with the launch of a special unit of prosecutors dedicated to targeting Colombia's neo-paramilitary drug gangs.
United States attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Wifredo Ferrer, said that the gangs, know as BACRIMs (bandas criminales - criminal bands) by Colombia's government, are a new security threat for Colombia and for the entire world.
Ferrer said that a group of prosecutors based in South Florida has been working on the cases of BACRIMs for several months. The recent capture of 30 members of the trafficking network of Daniel Barrera, alias "El Loco," was the result of this group's work.
The attorney promised that, "just as we dismantled the leadership of the old drug cartels, we are committed to combating the criminal bands and dismantling their operations."
Most of the BACRIMs formed out of the remnants of paramilitary organizations which demobilized in the mid-2000s, taking over their trafficking networks.