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17 January, 2018

Paramilitary Group to FARC: 'We're Going to Kill You All'

Right-wing paramilitary forces continue to operate throughout Colombia, inflicting terror on social and political movements, as well as the civilian population.

Paramilitary groups have sent death threats to members of Colombia's ex-guerrilla group FARC, now converted into a legal political party, in the south-western region of the country, FARC leaders report.

Representatives of the FARC National Political Council reproduced on social media Tuesday the pamphlet that circulated in Cali, capital of the department of Cauca, signed by the paramilitary group Self-Defense Gaitanistas of Colombia (ACG).

"We will bomb all these headquarters you use as a facade so you can carry out your criminal activities," reads the pamphlet. "We are announcing more deaths… No one believes in this peace tale… We will assassinate every single one of you."

The same day, FARC leader Rodrigo Londoño called on the Colombian government to deploy all institutional means available to eliminate such groups.

While the peace process in Colombia has been welcomed by broad sections of society, the demobilization of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia has prompted paramilitary groups to swarm the rural regions vacated by the former rebels.

In June, the FARC handed in the last of its weapons to United Nations officials, effectively ending 53 years of war with the state while exposing its members to violence by other paramilitary operatives.

Meanwhile, the government's lack of commitment to security protocols established in the peace accord have contributed to the resurgence of a "dirty war" waged by the ultra-right.

Since the demobilization process began, many former rebels have been assassinated by paramilitary forces, raising concerns that the violence inflicted on the Patriotic Union party during the 1980s and '90s could be repeated.

Juan Manuel Santos' government has denied the existence of paramilitary groups in the country, despite repeated warnings by the United Nations.

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