Search Bloc

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Colombian National Police


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Jean Marie Marcelin Gilibert
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The Search Bloc (Spanish: Bloque de Búsqueda) was the name of three different special operations units of the National Police of Colombia (Policía Nacional de Colombia). They were originally organized with a focus on capturing or killing highly dangerous individuals or groups of individuals.

First Search Bloc[edit]

The original Search Bloc was created in 1989 by President Virgilio Barco with the sole objective of apprehending drug lord Pablo Escobar and his associates. Its original commander was Colonel Hugo Martinez.

Members of Search Bloc received training from the Colombian army and were specially selected for being impervious to police corruption from the drug cartels. Throughout its mission, Search Bloc faced many obstacles such as a spy within the group and allegations of collaboration with anti-Escobar vigilante groups such as Los Pepes, which would have included vigilantism within Search Bloc pertaining to suspicious deaths of Escobar's subordinates.

Escobar was killed on December 2, 1993, in a shootout with members of Search Bloc. After dismantling his Medellín Cartel, the Search Bloc was transferred to Cali to find and shut down the structure of the Cali Cartel.

Second Search Bloc[edit]

Search Bloc was revived in 2004 to root out cocaine and heroin traffickers in southwest Colombia. The mission of the new Search Bloc was to take apart the Norte del Valle cartel and arrest its leader, Diego León Montoya Sánchez, which it did successfully in 2007.

Third Search Bloc[edit]

In 2007, the Colombian government again ordered the creation of a new Search Bloc against the Águilas Negras, classifying the organization as a gang of former paramilitaries.[1]

Popular culture[edit]

The original Search Bloc was featured prominently in the Netflix original series Narcos, which portrays the rise and fall of Pablo Escobar. In the series the Bloc is headed by a character named Coronel Horacio Carrillo, who critics have claimed was loosely based on Colonel Hugo Martinez; however, Martinez is introduced as a separate character in Season 2.

The Search Bloc was also the subject of a Colombian miniseries named Bloque de Busqueda, the Spanish translation of Search Bloc. The show was broadcast in the United States by Univision's sister network, UniMás.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]