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U.S. Justice Dept created special unit against remaining drug gangs in Colombia.

Wilfredo A. Ferrer - U.S. Attorney in Florida

The Counternarcotics office of the U.S. Justice Department created a special unit dedicated to the dismantling of criminal gangs that are emerging from the drug cartels in Colombia, federal prosecutors announced in Miami.

The U.S. Attorney in Florida, Wilfredo Ferrer, said the new research unit is designed to identify the bands that emerged in Colombia to fill the power vacuum after the fall of the Cartel “Norte del Valle”  and the dismantling of the paramilitary United Self-Defense of Colombia (AUC). “The U.S. government will not rest until we eradicate and destroy their ability for drug trafficking , as we did with the drug cartels,” said Ferrer in a press conference.

“The success of law enforcement (Colombia) in the elimination of the leaders of major Colombian drug trafficking organizations has resulted in smaller groups or gangs of criminals, who unite to pursue large-scale smuggling of cocaine into the United States, ” said to the media the DEA special agent in charge of the office in Miami, Mark R. Trouville.

The regrouping of drug dealers in these emerging groups are a concern and a priority of the Colombian government of Juan Manuel Santos, who is firmly decided to fight drugs with the strong U.S. support.

President Santos refused to negotiate with the new drug gangs that were members of the former right-wing paramilitaries AUC and called the criminals  to “submit to justice.”

“We do not negotiate with gangs or organized crime,” said Santos.

In recent years the criminals formed at least seven of these gangs in Colombia, which the government of Santos has as one of the main challenges to colombian security. These gangs are operating in at least half the colombian provinces.

To fight them, the government of President Santos decided in February to use military forces, and so far has reinforced the police with 700 troops, plus Santos has activated units of the navy to patrol rivers and coasts.

“Criminal gangs are organized crime acting on behalf of the organized crime, which also take advantage of their power to generate fear and violence and to commit other crimes.   But they are organized criminals and should be treated as such”  said President Santos in a recent media conference.