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On Friday, just before 2 o'clock, very armed "sicarios" (murderers) fought into a crowd at a bar in Guantero's entertainment district with normally peaceful Envigado, a suburb of Medellin. Customs were eight dead and 23 wounded. None of the deadly victims had a criminal record and one was actually an American citizen who recently moved to the area. Two off-duty police officers were in the Guru bar at that time and were injured when they returned. The perpetrators escaped from the scene on a high-cylinder motorcycle, the preferred mode of transport for killers in Colombia. Witnesses claim that motorcycles were followed by a car with several male residents, who may have been executives, those who ensure that the job was done.
Shot with more than one victim is not uncommon in the Medellin area, where a war that raged between drug trafficking bands has pushed the metropolitan area figures to over 2000 deaths in 2009 and just over 1,000 so far this year. Such figures are a sharp reminder of the days when the cartels ruled Colombia and morning flowed with corpses of young men. While the latest statistics are still far from the record levels achieved during this era, the rising tally is worried, reversing the previous trend that saw falling numbers, trampling around 800 in 2007, overall comparable to any major US city.
What is unusual about the Envigado massacre is the diverse way that the murderers sprayed the bar with bullets, something not seen since Pablo Escobar's days in this city, which has the dubious honor of being the core of the artisan during the 80s. According to the police, the intended target, a drug smuggler after the law, fled to an unfortunate place and had apparently voluntarily surrendered to the police and sought protection from those who wanted to kill him. Police say Envigado shooting was part of the ongoing territorial war between "Sebastian" and "Valenciano", leader of two major gangs. US and Colombian authorities offer several million dollar passwords for their capture.
For more insight on what is happening in Colombia, visit Oh Colombia.