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article imageMain Colombia narco gang ready to surrender: President

By AFP     Sep 5, 2017 in World

Colombia's most powerful drug trafficking gang is ready to turn itself in to the authorities, President Juan Manuel Santos announced Tuesday.

Santos said his government met Sunday with the head of the Gulf Clan, who had made clear he was ready "to submit to justice with all of his men."

Justice Minister Enrique Gil and Attorney General Nestor Martinez will evaluate the offer and "take appropriate action," said Santos in a speech at the presidency in Bogota.

The announcement came on the eve of a five-day visit to Colombia by Pope Francis and follows a ceasefire deal Monday with the country's last active guerrilla group, the National Liberation Army (ELN).

Colombia's defense ministry said the Gulf Clan has around 1,800 members, less than half its original strength following a major offensive by Santos' government.

"It would be a submission to justice, not a political negotiation," said Santos, whose government also signed a recent accord that saw the disarmament of Colombia's biggest rebel group, the FARC.

Last week, Santos announced that the Gulf Clan's second in command had been killed in the jungle during an operation by security forces.

The Gulf Clan was formed by former right-wing paramilitaries who opposed Colombia's leftist armed groups during a conflict that has wracked the South American country for more than 50 years.

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