A new piece in chess: The United Self Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC)

Flag of Colombia.
Flag of Colombia.

The AUC was formed in 1995 as an umbrella organization to consolidate local paramilitary groups. owever, had existed in loose form since 1968, when legislation was passed that allowed for the formation of these groups.

 

A new piece in chess: The United Self Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC)

In view of the situation in the nineties a new player joins the Colombian drama: The United Self Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC). They are Paramilitary groups that are organized with the aim of dealing with the guerrillas and to remove them from the territories they controlled. Although the creation of the AUC is attributed to the Brown brothers, who tired of the abuse of the guerrillas and in view of the null effectiveness of the state forces, decide to take the law into their hands and create an army outside the legal limits, the paramilitaries have other backgrounds.

Always in areas where guerrilla presence in the periphery, there are irregular groups, mainly funded by landowners, traders, transporters and by oil companies or electric companies to protect their interests subversive. The farmers also organized to make the harassment against the guerrillas, and some did legally, as it was the case with the living, which was created by an entity when Uribe was the governor of Antioquia, located between the Central department and Western cordilleras of Colombia, where the planters were allowed to defend themselves in an organized armed groups. The drug dealer, also, had groups to attack the guerrillas, tired of extortion and kidnapping. All these forces get together under the name of the AUC.

“What does the self-defense do? The self-defense of himself are fighting against the guerrillas, and as we are outside the law, we fight outside the law also, while the army can’t. In Colombia if a soldier meet a guerrilla, which is the order? Still, hands up is a fighter! If the fighter has not hurt the soldier, the soldier can’t do anything to the guerrilla, and if the soldier kills the fighter and he is caught by human rights he is in a problem”, says a former paramilitary who prefers to remain anonymous. For that reason, many times the AUC received help from senior military officers, who from the legal point of view are hamstrung to act more aggressively against guerrilla groups.

The bursts of bullets that break the silence of the plain come from a new front. The inhabitants of the region did not only suffer the war between the army and the guerrillas, but between the rebel groups and paramilitaries, and the latter is perhaps the fiercest. According to the source, much of the success with the “paras” taking the guerrillas from areas where they are is through the collaboration of the population. “We would say to people, look we will give you this radio, when the guerrillas are here Serve them, give them food, give them whatever, and you can contact us as soon as possible with the radio and inform us that the guerrillas are here. We will not do anything here, let's hope they moved from their home and will intercept them. If you will help us fight the guerrillas, that which they have eaten them, we'll pay”.

While some people support them, or be forced to support them, paramilitary groups are constituted as the main force expelling civilians since 1995, following the execution of massacres, selective killings, torture, threats and intimidation of people who accuse of belonging to or collaborating with guerrilla groups. Acting in the same way as subversive leftist groups imposed a state of war, where “who is not with us is against it, and that person gets to leave”.

A new piece in chess: The United Self Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC)
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