Megaoperation in Colombia: Hundreds of criminals accused of kidnapping, extortion and conspiracy to commit crimes have been arrested

Several members of gangs such as Tren de Aragua and Clan del Golfo were arrested, according to local media.

More than 150 arrests involving sixteen gangs in 28 departments. That is the result of Operation Evander, which was carried out this weekend by the police and the attorney general's office of Colombia.

Élver Vicente Alfonso Sanabria, director of the Anti-Kidnapping and Anti-Extortion Directorate of the Colombian Police (Gaula), told local media that they had obtained 152 arrest warrants for crimes of kidnapping, extortion and conspiracy to commit a crime. 

The objective of the operation was to go after gangs such as the Tren de Aragua, the Clan del Golfo and Los Mexicanos. Sanabria told Network+ News:

It is important to note that many criminal actors use the Tren de Aragua criminal brand to intimidate their victims.

Most of the arrests took place in Bogotá, where national authorities coordinated with local police. They want people in the capital "to feel calm, to know that we are here with them," Sanabria also said, in an interview with Caracol Radio.

He also explained that the main objective was to reduce extortion and asked citizens for help, asking them to report "any intention" of blackmail to the police.

Weekend arrests

The prosecutor's office announced on social media that it made some high-profile arrests, including Juan Esteban Jiménez Yepes known as Tortas or El Gringo, leader of the La Sierra gang.

They also arrested Luis Alfonso Ramírez Suárez, an alleged member of a gang that traffics cocaine on boats and ships to Central America and the United States. He has an extradition request from the U.S. justice system in Texas.

Iván Antonio Álvarez Lobo, known as Hueso, was also arrested. He is accused of working as a hitman for the Gulf Clan. He was wanted for homicide, kidnapping, torture and manufacturing or trafficking of weapons, among others.