Paramilitary Groups In Colombia

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Paramilitary groups held accountable? The first paramilitary groups were set up in the 1960s, by the Colombian military. Due to an increase of armed communist groups in rural Colombia, the United States had sent counterinsurgency teams to Colombia in 1962, to investigate Colombia’s internal security situation. The head of the counterinsurgency team recommended the Colombian government to authorize the Ministry of Defense to recruit civilians - mainly landowners and drug lords – to form paramilitary groups. This provided a legal basis to paramilitary groups. The groups referred to themselves as defensive groups, with the purpose of protecting the civilians. In 1968, Law 48 was legislated, which permitted the Ministry of Defense to arm the paramilitary…show more content…
The smaller militias, like MAS, merged together, to form one bigger group, which would naturally be more powerful. The Mapiripan Massacre was the first major atrocity conducted by the AUC. Paramilitaries flew in by planes provided by the Colombian military, with as the main target the drug dealers. Death squads murdered nearly 50 peasants working on coca plantations, with chainsaws are machetes. The bodies were thereupon dumped in the nearby river. The operations was labelled as a success, as they had damaged the FARCs ability to move the money and drugs in that…show more content…
The group was responsible for 70-80% of civilians killings in Colombia, until the demobilization of the paramilitary group in 2006. They were responsible for, among others, a large amount of displaced people, for social cleansing, and for torturing, kidnapping and murdering anyone that opposed them – such as trade unionists, human rights defenders, community leaders, judges, and ordinary civilians. In 2003, the Administration of president Álvaro Uribe initiated negotiations with the AUC. The Colombian government requested the paramilitary groups to demobilize, in order to restore the rule of law and to monopolize the state’s violence. The paramilitaries saw this as an opportunity to avoid being held accountable for their heinous crimes, or to receive a reduced sentence of maximum eight years in prison. Additionally, they would be permitted to maintain their wealth and power. If not, they would face the risk of being extradited to the US on drug charges. Nonetheless, in 2008, the majority of the top paramilitary leaders had been extradited to the US to face drug charges. In August 2014, the first 150 AUC fighters who were convicted in 2006, had served their eight year sentence, and were thus free. Earlier this year, the first major paramilitary leader was set free, however, he was still wanted in the US on drug
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