Sounds the alarm about the growing presence of the Gulf Clan and Pachencas neo-paramilitary groups in three Caribbean coast departments.
The former maximum leader of the AUC paramilitaries, extradited to the United States in 2008, has completed his U.S. prison term and may soon return to Colombia.
Abbey Steele of the University of Amsterdam’s Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences is a scholar of violence and politics who has done most of her work in Colombia. She is the author of Democracy and Displacement in Colombia’s Civil War (2017, Cornell University Press).
In this episode, she discusses her work in Apartadó, in Colombia’s Urabá region, which saw forced displacement by paramilitary groups intensify after Colombia began direct local elections and leftist parties performed well. She calls what happened “political cleansing” or “collective targeting”: the paramilitaries targeted entire communities for displacement based on election results.
Steele explains this and other findings, particularly how communities have organized to resist the onslaught. She has a sharp analysis of the challenges that continue for the displaced—and for communities and social leaders at risk of political cleansing—today, in post-peace-accord Colombia.
Listen above, or download the .mp3 file.
Semana columnist Salud Hernández-Mora visits sites in Colombia’s Bajo Cauca region where narco-paramilitary leaders had luxurious mansions and victims are forgotten.
The multi-part story of alias “Memo Fantasma,” a paramilitary drug trafficker with a long history and a low profile, who appears to have gotten away with it.
Maximum AUC paramilitary leader Salvatore Mancuso is to be released from U.S. custody after 12 years. This report looks at Mancuso’s deeds, the “Justice and Peace” demobilization process, and the views of AUC victims exiled in Canada.
- This is the day when Salvatore Mancuso, former top leader of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) paramilitary network, is scheduled to have been released from federal prison in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. He was extradited to face drug trafficking charges in May 2008. Mancuso, 55, was likely transferred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention; it is not clear whether he is requesting U.S. asylum or will be returned to Colombia, or whether COVID-19 is delaying his return.
- The Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) refuses to admit former top paramilitary leader Carlos Mario Jiménez alias “Macaco,” who was extradited to the United States in 2008 and returned to Colombia in 2019. Macaco’s war crimes, the JEP contends, are already covered by the Justice and Peace transitional justice system set up for the AUC paramilitaries’ 2003-06 demobilization. However, the JEP holds out the possibility that Jiménez might participate in order to be held accountable for crimes he committed as a paramilitary supporter, before he joined the AUC.
Reporters from the Medellín daily hold a rare interview with leaders of the breakaway paramilitary group sowing violence in Antioquia’s Bajo Cauca region and southern Córdoba department.
A look at Antioquia’s conflictive Bajo Cauca region, where one of the main armed actors is a breakaway paramilitary organization called the “Caparrapos.” Part of a multimedia presentation.
Francisco Gutiérrez Sanín of Colombia’s National University talks to La Silla Vacía about the history of paramilitarism in Colombia and the possibility that it might make a comeback.
- The U.S. Department of Justice communicates that top former paramilitary leader Salvatore Mancuso, who headed the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), will be returned to Colombia on March 27, twelve years after his extradition to the United States. A Colombian judge has determined that Mancuso has already served his required jail time under the “Justice and Peace” process that governed the AUC’s 2003-06 demobilization, though he must continue to cooperate with that process. Mancuso intends to collaborate with the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) because, as a landowner, he supported paramilitary groups for several years before becoming a paramilitary leader.
- More than 10 days of fighting between FARC dissident factions and paramilitaries displaces over 3,000 people in Tumaco, Nariño. The dissident factions are the Oliver Sinisterra Front and the Comandante Alfonso Cano Western Bloc, the paramilitary group is called “Los Contadores” (“The Bookkeepers”).
A paramilitary group tracing its lineage back to extradited leader Hernán Giraldo is responsible for the murder of two environmentalists in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta region.