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When it comes to pure and unadulterated evil, there are very few organizations that can rival the violent drug cartels of Latin America.

Of course, we hear a great deal here in America about the cartels in Mexico, particularly due to their infiltration of the United States’ black market, and the violence that is seeping across the border under their watchful eye.  These brazen and crooked monsters have a knack for mutilating and displaying their victims right smack dab in the middle of the public eye, and employing terror as one of their main weapons of influence.

These tactics, it must be remembered, have likely been learned by the ruthlessness of men such as Pablo Escobar and the Medellin Cartel of Colombia, whose take no prisoners approach to dominating the cocaine market came at a high price to any and all who opposed them.

Now, another Colombian cartel is taking a page out of Pablo’s playbook, and, in doing so, is demonstrating just how horrifically brutal they can be.

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Like a cocaine-fueled Homeric epic, Colombia’s long tragic battle with the drug cartels has produced countless heroes and villains. But one figure cutting across the country’s current narco battlefield, a name drawing praise and hate alike, is actually a six-year-old German Shepard you can find trotting through the country’s airports.

Sombra – “Shadow” in English – is a drug detection dog with the Colombian National Police. Over the last few years, her radar nose has led to more than 200 arrests and the seizure of at least 9 tons of illicit drugs. That success has turned the dog into something of a folk hero in a country consumed by ongoing bloodshed piled on top of a long legacy of drug violence. The Colombian press has even dubbed Sombra “the terror” of drug traffickers.

But Sombra is so good at her job that Colombia’s dominant drug crew is retaliating. They’ve put a price on the dog’s head.

According to Colombia’s RCN Radio, police intelligence recently learned about the bounty set by the Urabeños, also known as the “Gulf Clan.” Reports vary on the price tag for killing the dog, between 20 and 200 million Colombian pesos – or about $7,000 and $70,000 in American currency. But the threat is serious enough for the National Police to take extra precautions for Sombra’s security.

Now, police not only have the cartels to concern themselves with, but the ridiculous possibility of an attack on a police dog being fueled by a massive payout from the drug runners themselves.

Is this the sort of cultural canonization that we hope to have slipping across the border into the United States?  I think not.

 

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