In the shadows of bustling Colombian cities, a secretive and highly organized group operates with chilling efficiency. Sicarios in Colombian cartels are a grim reality, shaping a ruthless underworld many can scarcely imagine. 


These hired assassins are trained with military precision, adopting strategies and tactics that wouldn’t seem out of place in an army’s handbook. Yet, their mission is far from patriotic. They serve the interests of powerful drug lords, enforcing their will with a cold, calculated approach.

The military structure of Sicarios in Colombian cartels might sound like an abstract concept to some. However, it’s as real and tangible as the streets of Bogotá or Medellín. 

In this article, we’ll pull back the curtain on this hidden world, exploring how military discipline, organization, and methodology have become integral parts of the sicarios’ operations. What drives these individuals? How do they function within the larger framework of organized crime?

Building an Army of Sicarios in Colombian Cartels

Sicarios in Colombian cartels don’t come from your everyday job fair. Recruitment is a precise and targeted process, often focusing on specific regions known for poverty or political unrest. 

Disillusioned youths seeking power and recognition become prime candidates, as do former military or police personnel with combat experience.

The training is no walk in the park either. Recruits go through rigorous military-style boot camps, learning everything from marksmanship and hand-to-hand combat to advanced surveillance techniques. 

Stealth, discipline, and adaptability become second nature. Imagine a school where the final exams include live-fire exercises and real-world simulations. That’s the training ground for sicarios.

Sicarios in Colombian cartels hold a purpose and a role. Each member is a cog in a complex and deadly system that extends its reach across borders and into countless lives. 

It’s a dark and secretive world where military precision hones these skills, and the graduation ceremony might involve an actual assassination.

Tactical Operations: A Military Approach

Sicarios don’t just rush in guns blazing. That’s far too amateurish for them. Instead, they conduct extensive surveillance, mapping out daily routines, identifying vulnerabilities, and selecting the optimal time and place for the strike.

And what they have with them are more than just traditional firearms. We’re talking high-tech weaponry, night-vision goggles, and encrypted communication devices. 

It’s like something out of a spy movie. Only it’s happening on the streets of Colombian cities.

Sicarios rehearse every detail. Timing, positioning, escape routes – they don’t leave anything to chance. These are not random acts of violence; they are coordinated strikes carried out with the same meticulous planning and cold calculation you’d expect from an elite military unit.

The Chain of Command: Understanding the Hierarchy

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At the top, you have the Cartel leaders – the generals, if you will. These strategic masterminds call the shots and oversee the entire operation.

You’ll find the lieutenants below them, responsible for planning and executing specific missions. Think of them as the middle management, bridging the gap between the big bosses and the foot soldiers.

Speaking of foot soldiers, that’s where the bulk of the sicarios come into play. They’re the grunts, carrying out orders with precision and determination. Their loyalty is to the mission, not questioning why or how but focusing on the when and where.

Don’t forget the informants and lookouts. They’re the eyes and ears, providing vital intelligence and ensuring that operations go off without a hitch. In military terms, they might be your scouts or intelligence officers.

Sicarios in Colombian cartels operate with a hierarchy that would make a military tactician nod in approval. It’s about structure, discipline, and control. And it’s this finely-tuned organization that allows the cartels to maintain their grip on a vast criminal empire that reaches far beyond the borders of Colombia. 

Ethics and Morality: A Distorted View

While the training and tactics of Sicarios in Colombian cartels mirror military operations, the ethics, and morals are vastly different. They serve not a country but a cartel driven by profits and power. The rules of engagement are blurred, with very little value for human life. 

Understanding this twisted moral compass helps explain why these individuals can carry out their missions without the same constraints as a traditional soldier.

A Complex, Troubling Reality

Sicarios in Colombian cartels present a complex and troubling picture. The parallels with military structures are undeniable, but the motives and methods reveal a dark and dangerous world. 

SOFREP’s visual interpretation of a meeting between Pablo Escobar and his sicarios.

By understanding these hidden soldiers’ recruitment, training, tactics, and ethics, we can glimpse an underworld that continues to shape Colombia’s ongoing struggles with crime and violence. 

The world of the sicarios may seem distant and surreal. But it’s a world that exists, thrives, and impacts countless lives daily.