Bogotá Mayor Claudia López officiated the incorporation ceremony of 500 members of the Metropolitan Police to boost the city’s intelligence and investigation capacity. Mayor López welcomed the new members of MEBOG as part of a larger security scheme to return “tranquility to the residents of Bogotá.”

Police chief Jorge Vargas highlighted that with the 500 cops, and 1,363 recent graduates, the Colombian capital has added more than 1,800 members of the force during the last three months. General Vargas also confirmed that by the end of the year, the capital will get an additional 1,000 police to work at a community level in crime prevention and neighborhood patrols.

The extra security follows the dismantling on Wednesday of a urban crime syndicate known as “Los de Camilo,” that operated micro-trafficking cells in various city localities. The 18-member organization committed at least 50 homicides, and face charges of kidnapping, extorsion and drug-trafficking. Undercover police infiltrated the organization over several months to gather evidence that led to the arrest of the ringleader Néstor “alias Camilo” Aguirre.

“To comprehend the magnitude of this operation, having achieved the capture and complete dismantling of the alias ‘Camilo’ gang, represents for the security of Bogotá, what at a national level once represented the capture of a member of FARC’s Secretariat,” stated Claudia López emphatically.

A recent survey by pollsters Bogotá Cómo Vamos reveals that 96% of residents do not feel safe in the city, and worst percentage since a similar poll was conducted in 2017. The most unsafe localities in Bogotá are Kennedy, Bosa, Ciudad Bolívar, Rafael Uribe, Usaquén and Los Mártires. In September, Mayor López and Minister of Defense Diego Molano agreed to deploy 1,500 members of the Army’s Military Police to help police with crime prevention, including setting-up check points at strategic entry points of the capital.

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