Colombia arrests 17 from notorious drug cartel

February 22, 2015 - 12:00:00 am

Bogota---Seventeen members of a notorious paramilitary drug gang have been captured during raids in northeast Colombia, officials said Saturday.

Police said 17 members of the "Los Urabenos" gang were taken into the custody after an operation in the northeastern city of Cucuta in connection with charges of murder and conspiracy.

Los Urabenos appeared after the demobilization of right-wing paramilitary groups between 2003 and 2006 in a process promoted under former president Alvaro Uribe.

The group is considered one of the country's most dangerous drug trafficking gangs, and has around 2,366 members, according to an official report from 2013.

Colombia's armed conflict, which has involved leftist rebels, right-wing paramilitaries, the military and drug gangs, is Latin America's longest-running conflict, spanning over 50 years.