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19 May, 2017

Largest right-wing paramilitary group plans attacks in two of Colombia's largest cities

According to an internal police memo leaked Tuesday, Colombia's largest illegal armed group, the AGC, also known as “Los Urabeños" is planning terrorist attacks in Colombia’s largest cities of Bogota and Medellin.

The memo states the planned terrorist campaign will be coordinated by “Gavila,” one of the members of the group’s central command that is led by former United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia mid-level commander “Otoniel.”

Amid an escalation of paramilitary violence that has been targeting civilians and security forces alike, the memo also stated that a group called the “Gulf Clan” will be planning car bomb attacks in the cities of Bogota and Medellin.

The leaders of the AGC never laid down their arms, even during a veiled "peace process" under the government of right-wing President Alvaro Uribe, which aimed to clean up the image of the paramilitaries of the time. The AGC is also reportedly Colombia's largest drug trafficking organization.

The Colombian government has persistently downplayed the havoc wreaked by AGC when in reality, the group's attacks on civilians have been on a rise. Just a few days ago, the group "promised" a violent campaign of “torture and death" to show “who rules this country” further proving that the syndicate is active and is continuing with its operations.

We declare as military targets all human rights organizations, unions, land activists, defenders of FARC and ELN prisoners, those who do reports on human rights, members of political organizations of the FARC, the congress of the people, Patriotic Union, Patriotic March,” said the pamphlet issued by the right-wing group.

While the Colombian government continues to deny the existence of paramilitaries, the underbelly continues to cause internal disturbances and kill human rights defenders. Colombia’s landmark peace deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia that was widely hailed as an end to the longest-running civil war has done little to to stop paramilitary violence.

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