Growth of 'Bandas Criminales' (BACRIMs) in Colombia

"Colombia continues to see a rise in criminal organizations known as 'bandas criminales' or BACRIMs, which have become a major law enforcement challenge. These groups include members of former paramilitary groups and are active throughout much of the country -- competing and sometimes cooperating with the FARC in the drug trade. For example, the largest BACRIM organization, 'los Rastrojos,' has traceable cooperative agreements with both the ELN and the FARC in southern Colombia. The violence associated with the BACRIMs has spilled over into many of Colombia‘s major cities, leading to an increase in the murder rates within some urban centers and the mass displacement of thousands of rural citizens in 2011. In 2011, President Juan Manuel Santos announced a comprehensive strategy to combat the increasingly powerful BACRIM. The strategy identified overarching themes to attack the BACRIM and detailed how various government agencies would coordinate efforts, but it did not designate additional resources to confront the problem."

Source: 

United States Department of State Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, "International Narcotics Control Strategy Report: Volume I: Drug and Chemical Control (Washington, DC: March 2012), pp. 170-171.
http://www.state.gov/documents...

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