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Buenaventura, departures by criminal gangs: more foot of force or militarization? – Cali, Colombia

Fear roams strongly in the 12 communes of good luck, especially, among the stilt houses made of mat and wood from the insular area of ​​the port city.

Some citizens and leaders point out that the gangs reimposed their terror law for murders and shootings in this tourist district and the main port of the Colombian Pacific, but which is largely submerged in poverty and in the same misery.

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Meanwhile, anxiety is maintained by armed men with hoods who have announced that they are defending their territories from gangs, one of them, those of ‘Jalisco’. There is expectation for the announced dialogues this month with ‘Shottas’ and ‘Spartans’who have been facing blood and fire, after being the band ‘La local’, in 2017.

Anxiety is maintained by armed men who announced to defend their territories from gangs, one of them, those of ‘Jalisco’, there is expectation for the dialogues with ‘Shottas’ and ‘Espartanos’

“We are also going to expand the capacity for urban control with military forces (and) likewise (with) the National Police. The director (of the National Police, retired General William) Salamanca has ordered that it be expanded with intelligence personnel, particularly, but also an increase in police officers,” said Defense Minister Iván Velásquez, who ensured the increase in standing force in the 12 communes of Buenaventura, but there would be no militarization, as requested by Governor Clara Luz Roldán.

Governor Roldán said: “President Gustavo Petro and Minister of Defense, Iván Velásquez, on behalf of Valle del Cauca, please request the militarization of the entire Special District of Buenaventura, immediately.” She added: “It is urgent to protect the community and end the illegal economies.”

The proposal will be evaluated more in depth, in the security council that will be held in this city, this Thursday, July 6, with the Minister of Defense, Iván Velásquez.

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“It is urgent to protect the community and put an end to the illegal economies. Buenaventura needs the Army to arrive, occupy the entire territory, protect the community and stay. It is necessary that the people of Buenos Aires know that the authority is exercised by the State and not the criminal gangs,” the governor said in a statement.

“We know that the situation in Buenaventura requires state intervention that includes an extraordinary social investment, but right now we are talking about prioritizing the life and safety of the port’s inhabitants.”

The president announced that a reward bag of up to $200 million was established for the capture of the ringleaders.

“Our regional efforts need the support of the national government; hence the importance of acting effectively in the peace tables of the National Government and continuing with the dialogue, but with a strong and permanent military presence,” said the president.

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It is expected that at 8:30 am on July 6 there will be a tour of commune 12 of Buenaventura together with the military and police leadership.

An hour later will be the visit to customs points in the Port Society, with directives from the Directorate of National Taxes and Customs (Dian).

At 11:00 am, security measures and actions in Buenaventura will be reported.

Unions and businessmen in the region also requested to intervene with the National Government out of concern about this situation that affects development and jobs in Buenaventura.

This clamor is from the Interunion and Business Committees of the Valley, as well as that of Buenaventura with Acopi, Acodal, Adicomex, Acecolombia, Andi, Analdex, Asesof, Asocaña, Asoleche, Porkcolombia, Camacol, Colombian Chamber of Infrastructure, Confecop Cogancevalle, Confecoop , Cotelco, Committee of Coffee Growers, Fedy, Fenalco Valle, Fenavi Valle, the Lonja de Cali and Valle; Fasecolda, Procaña, Sodicom and SAG. Also the Chambers of Commerce of Buenaventura, Cali, Seville, Palmira, Buga, Tuluá and Cartago.

“In particular, we are concerned about the insecurity situation that has intensified in Buenaventura. This problem adds to the already existing economic and social situation that this port has historically faced. (…) It is imperative that Buenaventura have a joint command that articulates the different forces and from where there is a greater deployment of standing forces, intelligence and operational capacity, to immediately implement actions to combat the public order situation generated by criminal gangs”, said the unions in a letter to the National Government.

In the afternoon there will be meetings with the presidents of the Acción Comunal boards, as well as the community councils of the northern and southern rivers of Buenaventura.

The mayor of Cali, Jorge Iván OspinaHe announced a trip to Buenaventura. He wants to attend the extraordinary security council.

“It is necessary that the inter-institutional power of the Police, the Prosecutor’s Office, the Army, the Navy, Inpec and mayors, meet in the city of Cali to present the roadmap, understanding that there is much to investigate and a robust presence of the authorities is needed Ospina said.

The mayor of the port, Víctor Vidal, responded: “Mayor Jorge Iván should be concerned about preventing the gangs and their criminal activities from leaving Cali for everyone’s peace of mind. In Buenaventura there is not and never was a cartel, but we have been victims of the one in your city”.

The Bishop of Buenaventura, Monsignor Rubén Darío Jaramillo, who has been supporting the National Government’s initiative for total peace with the Buenaventura gangs since September last year, pointed out that the socio-legal round tables are expected so that members of these groups can advance and a negotiation that does not yet exist is reached, despite the truce announced since September 2022 that lasted until last March, according to the prelate.

In turn, there is fear among leaders and human rights defenders, as well as among the population itself, regarding the emergence of new groups or name changes with possible dissidents from the gangs that would hold the talks.


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