A brief history of the
Created by insightcrime on Dec 12, 2010
Last updated: 01/26/11 at 04:47 PM
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Human Rights Watch (HRW) releases a report, "Paramilitaries' Heirs," describing the successor groups which continue trafficking drugs and engaging in massacres and displacement. The study finds some evidence that in Nariño, there may be a "high level of coordination" between the Aguilas Negras, but otherwise there is little indication that they are a single national group.
Members of a leftist political party, the Polo Democratico, denounce death threats issued by the Aguilas Negras. A year later, on January 2010, an indigenous council in northern Cauca also report receiving threatening text messages from the group. "Death to tattletales, killers, thieves, rapists, coca farmers..." the message said, an echo of the political discourse once employed by Carlos Castaño's AUC.
Activists organize a nation-wide march in honor of victims killed or displaced by the AUC. Many of the organizers later report receiving threatening pamphlets or e-mails signed “the Aguilas Negras.”
Three of the largest labor unions in Colombia report receiving threatening e-mails signed by the “Aguilas Negras.”
Alias 'Omega,' responsible for handling the finances of imprisoned AUC commander Rodrigo Tovar, is killed in mysterious circumstances in Medellin. His main contacts in Northern Santander were two other AUC lieutenants, Maximo Cuesta Velandi, alias 'Sinai,' and Adrian de Jesus Mesa, alias 'Camilo.' The armed groups commanded by these two men will later adopt the name "Aguilas Negras." But 'Sinai' is later arrested and 'Camilo' killed, allowing even more Aguila Negra splinter groups to form.
In a major step for the demobilization process, Salvatore Mancuso and six other commanders of the AUC are arrested or turn themselves in to Colombian authorities. According to the Peace Commissioner's Office, 31,671 purported AUC fighters had demobilized by the end of 2006.
A report commissioned by the Organization of American States (OAS) identifies 16 regions in Colombia where paramilitary groups are still active. The report mentions the Aguilas Negras as active in Cucuta, in the Northern Santander province, and in parts of Nariño and southeastern Antioquia.
The Bloque Libertadores del Sur, a faction of a powerful coalition in the AUC, known as Bloque Central Bolivar, demobilizes in Taminango, Nariño. Active since 2000, 689 ex-combatants surrender 596 weapons. But several mid-level commanders remain in the criminal world, recruit teams of drug traffickers and assassins, and adopt the name "Aguilas Negras."
Colombian Congress passes legislation that lays the groundwork for further peace talks with the AUC, by protecting the top paramilitary commanders from extradition on drug charges to the U.S. But key provisions in the law are later overturned by the Supreme Court on May 19, 2006.
1,434 alleged members of the Bloque Catatumbo, a faction of the AUC's powerful Bloque Norte, formally demobilize in Tibu, Northern Santander. A total of 1,115 weapons are collected. Bloque Catatumbo was among the most violent of the rightist death squads, accused of murdering up to 8,000 civilians since its formation in 1999. Former mid-level commanders in this bloc, including Maximo Cuesta Velandia, alias 'Sinai,' and Adrian de Jesus Mesa, alias 'Camilo,' will later form some of the first Aguila Negra bands in Northern Santander in 2006.
With the signing of the Santa Fe de Ralito agreement, right-wing paramilitary groups agree to begin a phased demobilization, scheduled to end on December 31, 2005.