Colombia ends ceasefire with AGC criminal group
The largest criminal gang in Colombia, the Clan del Golfo, also known as the Gaitanista Self-Defense Forces (AGC), attacked police, so President Gustavo Petro of Colombia ordered the suspension of a ceasefire.
Against the Clan del Golfo, I have commanded the armed forces to resume all military operations, Petro tweeted.
“We won’t stand by while they continue to sow fear and anxiety in the neighborhoods.”
The Clan’s involvement in Colombia’s internal conflict, which has claimed at least 450,000 lives, was addressed through the cease-fire.
It was intended to last six months when it was announced on New Year’s Eve. Days earlier, on March 13, Petro accused the group in a radio interview of destroying a municipal aqueduct in the province of Antioquia amid roadblocks related to unofficial gold miners’ protests.
At the time, Petro claimed that the group had “broken the ceasefire” and that if attacks continued, there would be no chance of negotiations.
Six vehicles were reportedly set on fire in the Bajo Cauca region of the Antioquia department earlier on Sunday, according to reports from the authorities. This incident is thought to be related to the mining protest.
The government had no doubt that the Clan was responsible for the violent act and a rifle attack against law enforcement, which Petro had alluded to in a tweet earlier in the day, according to Defense Minister Ivan Velasquez, who spoke to reporters on Sunday night.
According to Velasquez, “offensive operations against the Clan del Golfo” had been ordered to be developed by the military and the national police. Over 10,000 law enforcement personnel were also present in the area, he continued.
Velasquez advised truckers traveling through conflict areas to join pre-arranged caravans that would be guarded by security personnel in order to prevent similar incidents.
Petro has asked Congress to pass a law approving gang surrender, including reduced prison sentences, in exchange for ceasing operations and making reparations to victims as part of his peace plan.