Back in March, I blogged about Brazilian gangs enforcing COVID-19 lockdowns in favelas. As I noted in the blog, you do not fuck with a drug cartels money. That's like the #1 rule in life.
As you can see in the graph below, Colombia's coronavirus cases continue to rise:
This is not good for the cartels business, I assume. Less money is being made by their customers, so less money is being made by them. They can't slaughter COVID-19, so they've taken a different approach:
SOURCE-Drug cartels and rebel groups are imposing their own bloody coronavirus lockdowns across Colombia – and killing those who do not obey, according to a new report by Human Rights Watch (HRW).
At least eight civilians have been murdered by the armed groups, some of them holdovers from Colombia’s half-century civil war, which are using Whatsapp chats and pamphlets to warn citizens of the lockdowns in the rural areas where they operate.
I'd be shocked if anybody in Colombia was reading this, but if you are, PLEASE STAY HOME. You do NOT want to be slayed by the cartel!
In Tumaco, an impoverished and violent port city on the Pacific coast, residents are banned by gangs from fishing, limiting their ability to earn money and food. A 5pm curfew – far stricter than the measures imposed by the government – is also forcing street vendors inside.
Across the country, violent gangs are stopping people from leaving their homes at all, even when sick, according to humanitarian workers cited in the report. In two provinces, Cauca and Guaviare, armed groups have torched the motorcycles of those of those who ignored their restrictions.
“They have shut down transport between villages, and when someone is suspected to have Covid-19 they are told to leave the region or they will be killed,” one community leader in Colombia’s southern Putumayo province told the Guardian
Oh my god.
You may be wondering why doesn't the government get involved? Well, that's a silly question. The cartel is the government in a lot of these poor areas of Colombia.
On 8 June, Edison León Pérez, a community leader and activist, was murdered in the Putumayo town of San Miguel by La Mafia, a drug trafficking gang with ties to rightwing paramilitarism, days after he called on local authorities to address the gang’s lockdown orders.
Crazy, crazy world out there.