Analysts said the cartel’s ability to shut down multiple towns highlighted shortcomings in the government’s long fight against drug trafficking groups. “The security strategy of focusing on high profile targets does not guarantee security for civilians,” said Elizabeth Dickinson, a senior analyst at the International Crisis Group.
The Gulf Clan drug cartel shut down dozens of towns in northern Colombia for four days in reaction to its leader being extradited to the U.S. for trial. It warned that anyone who disobeyed the stay-at-home order risked being shot or having their vehicle burned, AP reports.
Businesses closed, schools stayed shut, intercity bus service was suspended and a professional soccer match couldn’t be played after one of the teams refused to travel to the game.
The Gulf Clan’s “armed stoppage” decree was issued Thursday in pamphlets and What’sApp messages following the extradition of Dairo Antonio Usuga — also known as Otoniel — to the United States, where he faces drug trafficking charges.
The action appeared to be winding down Monday, according to reports from human rights groups and the Roman Catholic Church, bit o underlined that the cartel is still a major security threat despite Otoniel’s highly publicized arrest last year.
© Copyright LaPresse