Blog, Latin America: Week in Review

New Paramilitary Groups On The Rise In Colombia

February 4, 2010 By Staff

Today in Latin America


Top Story — Paramilitary successor groups in Colombia have become a major threat to Colombia’s economy and human rights record, according to a report issued by Human Rights Watch.

The groups, which formed after the Colombian government tried to disband paramilitary groups such as the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) in the mid-2000s, are involved in the Colombian cocaine trade as well as human rights abuses such as massacres, forced displacement and rape.

“Whatever you call these groups — whether paramilitaries, gangs, or some other name — their impact on human rights in Colombia today should not be minimized,” said José Miguel Vivanco, Americas director at Human Rights Watch. “Like the paramilitaries, these successor groups are committing horrific atrocities, and they need to be stopped.”

Human Rights Watch also advocated in the report that the United States delay ratifying a trade deal with Colombia until the country has more effectively dealt with the problem of these groups.

The report was released at a touchy time in Colombia as president Álvaro Uribe hopes to get constitutional approval to run for a third term and violence is reported to be on the rise in areas that have seen lulls in recent years, such as Medellín.

North America

  • Mexican authorities arrested a man Tuesday night who allegedly took part in the shooting that left at least 15 people dead in Ciudad Juárez Sunday.


  • The Cuban government announced it will now offer government pensions to self-employed artists.
  • U.N. Special Envoy to Haiti Bill Clinton will coordinate international relief efforts in that country.

Central America

  • Scientists in Costa Rica are “growing” insects for human consumption as part of a food diversification program.


  • Alleged Colombian cartel boss, Salomon Camacho Mora, faces federal conspiracy, drug trafficking and money laundering charges in Newark, New Jersey.
  • Protests over the January 28 closing of cable stations in Venezuela continued as students took to the streets.
  • Ecuador and Mexico will play a World Cup warm-up game at the new Meadowlands stadium in New Jersey on May 7.
  • Banco Internacional del Peru plans to expand loans by 40 percent as Peru’s economy recovers.

Southern Cone

  • Argentine bonds dropped by 2.95 percent just before President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner gave a press conference about her decision to fire of Central Bank director Martin Redrado.
  • Brazil’s Cosan will begin a joint venture with Royal Dutch Shell Plc to increase cane-based ethanol exports.
  • A woman dropped her paternity suit against Paraguayan President Fernando Lugos for personal reasons.
  • Uruguay’s unemployment rate dropped to 7.3 percent from 7.6 percent last year.

Image: Human Rights Watch.

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[…] a report released in February, the nongovernmental organization Human Rights Watch identified the Black Eagles as one of several successor groups that have formed since the 2006 demobilization […]

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