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At least 20 members of Gulf Clan detained in Colombia on October 26 during security operations

Reports indicate that on October 26 at least 20 members of the Gulf Clan, formally called Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia (AGC) were detained during different security raids. The largest operation took place in Rionegro, about 25 km south-west of Medellin, where 15 suspects were arrested. In turn, during subsequent raids in La Apartada, Cordoba, and in Caucasia, Antioquia, four additional suspects were arrested. Security services further seized weapons, including two assault rifles and handguns. Finally, in Santafé, Antiquia, a man driving a truck carrying 315 kilos of cocaine hydrochloride belonging to the Gulf Clan was arrested. The truck was allegedly heading toward the coastal region of Uraba, where the cargo would be taken out of the country.

These security operations take place amid a military offensive against the Gulf Clan, which remains one of the largest paramilitary groups in the country. On October 17 security forces killed a group leader, responsible for overseeing their finances and drug-trafficking operations. As President Iván Duque has pledged to scale offensives against the Gulf Clan, further operations are likely to take place over the coming days, especially in the Bajo Cauca region in Antioquia, where the group has occupied positions previously held by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). As previously assessed, while retaliatory attacks cannot be ruled out, there are signs that the Gulf Clan is weakening in light of surmounting military pressure, especially directed at neutralizing its leadership.

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