Thanks to an email from a loyal reader, we were made aware of a kite that Tablas Castellanos sent to Florencia. Apparently, a reporter for KQED in San Francisco got a copy of the kite and put it online.
Here's the link if you're curious:
There's some interesting information for the diligent student who has the time to parse and read between the lines.
A couple of things were surprising. For one, Tablas is ordering Florencia to elect a President and a Vice President for each of the cliques and those two would be the "official" representatives and report directly to Tablas. This is a new one. At least to us. There always have been one or two up-status Camaradas or Associates from cliques who report to the Hermanos. But this is the first mention we've ever seen of the term "President" and "VP." We're not sure if this is just semantics or an actual departure from the traditional horizontal structure of the Eme and their associated street soldiers. If you can add anything to this, feel free to comment. President of a clique? Just sounds too corporate.
The other item is also a novelty. According to Tablas, Paisas in Florencia are now completely hands-off. No extortion or taxation. Reading between the lines, the Paisas are essentially allowed to operate without any interference. The question of why was made clear last month when a number of Cartel operators and Florencianos were indicted. Cearly, these are the Paisas that Tablas has made the alliance with (The Project).
We can only speculate on how this "hands-off paisas" will play out. Historically, Paisas were the easiest targets for Soldados who wanted to earn stripes and make some money - taxing dope sales, forcing Paisas to pay tribute to use certain pay phones, forcing Paisas to buy stolen phone cards from them, extorting the fruit sellers and ice cream stands etc.
You have to wonder if this hands-off policy will in time give non-native gangsters in Florencia a chance to grow, prosper and recruit enough manpower to actually create a rival force to the native-born sets.