Three alleged members of the “Urabeños” neo-paramilitary group have been arrested for alleged involvement in the massacre of eight alleged criminals on October 8 in Cali, reported Colombia’s National Police on Friday.
Among those arrested is “El Negro” also known as “El Oso”, the alleged head of a gang of drug dealers in the towns of Zarzal, Toro and Roldanillo.
Also captured were “La Mona” and “El Viejo en Roldanillo”, the alleged owner of a Mazda that was seen in CCTV footage from the night of the massacre.
The suspects will be charged with murder, conspiracy, and illegal possession of weapons, said authorities.
Meanwhile, Police continue the search for a certain “Camilo” and an unidentified police official for their presumed participation in the killings.
According to the police, all suspects are directly involved in the killing of eight alleged drug traffickers in a mansion in La Maria, an affluent area in the south of the city.
All men had been killed with a shot in the head in what appeared to be an organized mass execution. The authorities classified the incident as part of a drug-trafficking feud.
One of the victims was Julio Cesar Paz, a.k.a. “J1,” a commander of neo-paramilitary drug trafficking organization “Los Urabeños” who had apparently been released from prison just three months after his arrest.
Following his death, authorities said J1 was the “King of Synthetic Drugs” of the Urabeños.
According to the investigators, J1 and his crew were executed after a failed attempt to settle differences over the distribution of 2C-B, a synthetic drug that has become increasingly popular in Colombia’s nightlife over the past few years.
The massacre spurred fears that Cali was seeing an early end of what appeared to be a spectacular increase in public safety; In September, local authorities reported that homicides had dropped 30$ compared to the same period last year.