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Where are they and which are the illegal groups that are threatening the country’s security?

Homicides, extortion, kidnapping and robberies are the main high-impact crimes that in recent years have deteriorated security in several regions of Colombia, especially in the country’s main cities. This situation has led the authorities to redouble their efforts and design strategies to contain them.

As an example of this, in recent days, 18 people were captured in Bogotá, who belonged to the criminal gang ‘Los Hestias’, which was allegedly responsible for selective homicides, threats, extortion and attacks against shopkeepers and inhabitants of Kennedy and Rafael Uribe Uribe, in Bogotá.

Like this gang, there are 49 others that commit crimes in the country’s capital, according to a recent report presented by the Coexistence and Citizen Security Line of the Peace & Reconciliation Foundation (Pares).

The report shows that in the seven main cities of the country: Bogotá, Antioquia, Cali, Barranquilla, Cúcuta, Buenaventura and Quibdó, there are 196 criminal organizations.

Buenaventura and Quibdó were specially selected as they are the two cities where the government is conducting socio-legal dialogues with criminal organizations.


In Bogotá, the criminal groups with the greatest presence are the FARC, the ELN and the Gulf Clan. The latter group is present through alliances with other criminal groups. At least 55 illegal organizations have had a presence in the capital of Cundinamarca.

Other organizations have entered Bogotá, among them ‘Los Paisas’, ‘Los Camilos’, ‘Satanás’ and ‘el Tren de Aragua’. These are gangs that carry out criminal activities at the neighborhood level, especially related to theft and micro-trafficking”.


In Antioquia, around 50 organizations have been detected that threaten security in that part of the country. Of these groups, one corresponds to the ‘El Clan del Golfo’, which, despite having lost influence in the city in recent years, still has a presence through alliances with major criminal groups, thus increasing the perception of security in the region.

Organizations such as ‘La Oficina’, and others of medium level such as ‘Los Pachelly’, ‘Los Pesebreros’, ‘Los Mesa’, ‘La Terraza’, ‘Los Chatas’ and ‘La Sierra’, are also present in the city.


Cali ranked 32nd in the World Population Review’s 50 most dangerous cities in the world in 2023. The city is home to around 40 criminal organizations, including the EMC’s ‘Jaime Martínez’ column, Segunda Marquetalia, ‘clan del Golfo’ and the Eln.
There are also other groups responsible for micro-territorial control, in particular for activities related to extortion, threats, micro-trafficking and contract killings.


In Barranquilla, there are 35 criminal organizations. Among them are El Clan del Golfo and the Pachenca, who commit crimes through alliances with small local groups. There are also ‘Los Costeños’, ‘Los Rastrojos Costeños’, ‘Los Papalópez’, ‘Los Pepes’ and ‘Los Vega Daza’.



In Cúcuta, there are the three strongest organizations at the national level, Eln, ‘Clan del Golfo’ and Emc. Finally, in the Pacific, especially in Buenaventura, there is the presence of 7 criminal organizations, including “El Clan del Golfo’, the EMC, the Eln and the ‘Segunda Marquetalia’, ‘Shottas’ and ‘Espartanos’.


In Quibdó, capital of Chocó, there is an estimated presence of 7 organizations, including El ‘clan del Golfo’ and Eln


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