Posted by: Paula Delgado-Kling | August 4, 2011

Young Colombian Men See Violence as Means to Economic Mobility

Former paramilitary members disarm only to reappear in drug-trafficking criminal gangs a few months later. Young Colombian men continue to see violence as a way to economic mobility.

Take the example of “Sebastian.” He was wanted for forced displacement, forced disappearances, multiple homicides, and false documents.

Sebastian, dead at the age of 37, began in the paramilitaries in the Bolivar Central Block where he rose to become the right hand of “Macaco.” Sebastian demobilized along with the Bolivar Central Block, and he re-emerged as one of the leaders of a new group, Los Paisas. Seeing opportunities, he left Los Paisas and joined Los Rastrojos where he rose to become the ultimate leader. He was shot six times by his own men. Two of his men handed themselves over to authorities and six others disappeared.

Authorities were offering about $140,000 dollars for his head. Meanwhile, his bodyguards revealed he spent $150,000 dollars every month in bribing the authorities.


Fifty-four Ak-47’s imported from China were seized from Rastrojos gang in Cali

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