Sometimes in Colombia you come across signs of its violent past at common places.

There are now plenty of paramilitary groups in colombia, all a threat to human rights in Colombia. Amongst the most influential one is Auc Colombia.

Colombian paramilitary violence is overwhelmingly targeted towards peasants, unionists, teachers, human rights workers, journalists and leftist political activists.

The downfall of the Medellín and Calí cartels in the 1990s created an opening for paramilitary groups, which controlled northern Colombia (the key transnational smuggling route), to take over the international cocaine trade.

In 2001 Colombian government sources estimated that at least 40% of all cocaine exports from Colombia were controlled by far-right paramilitary groups, while only 2.5% were controlled by the FARC.

4 Responses to Paramilitary Colombia

  • Arianna

    As a result of the Colombian civil conflict, social leaders, political activists, human rights campaigners, trade unionists, indigenous communities have suffered attacks. On the left-wing insurgents( the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc) and the ELN (National Liberation Army)) on the right-wing the paramilitaries. The main group was the AUC – the United Self-Defence Forces of Colombia, which officially at least has demobilised.  The cocaine trade is the main motor of the armed conflict, providing hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for the illegal armed groups and they use land mines to protect the illicit crop. Few years ago i had the parlous experience of visiting the Military Hospital in Bogota and the number of cases of people affected by land mines is unimaginable.  I wonder how many innocent people will be affected before this civil conflict stops, i wonder if it will ever have an end.

    How cruel reality, thanks for sharing it

  • richardalois

    I am wondering if one charismatic leader / president could stop that vicious circle. Or would he/she just get shot again?

  • Arianna

    In my opinion we had a great one, the top one in the list of presidents i can remember, Alvaro Uribe Velez, i am sure many Colombians will agree, he achieved significant results in the fight against illegal armed groups, during his period 2002-2010 the Government adopted positive measures regarding the destruction of stored anti-personnel mines. His successor Juan Manuel Santos has made the release of all hostages a condition for opening peace talks with the Farc, along with an end to attacks and the use of land mines.

  • richardalois

    And now – what will the future bring? I heard the left-wing terrorists are loosing members – is that the case for the right-wing terrorists as well?
    Who are these people anyway who joint these organisations? I mean, times have changed – we’re not in the 70ies anymore.

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