200 “Non-Existing” Colombian Neo-Paramilitaries on ELN Hunting Mission Displaced Hundreds
nsnbc : About 200 neo-paramilitaries wearing AGC armbands went on an ELN hunting mission in Colombia’s western, traditionally ELN-controlled Choco region. Clashes between the AGC gunmen and a small group of fleeing ELN guerrilla resulted in the displacement of more than 300 non-combatants.
The AGC a.k.a. Los Urabenos right-wing neo-paramilitaries have become ever more brazen since Colombia’s FARC-EP began its ceasefire and demobilization and since the government and the country’s last standing leftist guerilla, the National Liberation Army – ELN – launched peace talks with the government.
On Saturday some 200 AGC gunmen pursued a small group of ELN guerrilla in the Pacific western Choco province. Hundreds of the members of the Pena Azul community in the province were displaced during the AGC’s ELN-hunting spree.
The AGC a.k.a. Los Urabenos is a heavily armed right-wing neo-paramilitary group formed by the former members of the paramilitary organization AUC, which formally demobilized between 2003 and 2006.
Leading members of the Colombian government and oligarchical structures, however, deny that the AGC are right-wing “neo-paramilitaries” by using the euphemistic designation “pure criminals”.
As of Monday it was still not clear if any civilians were killed or wounded in the attack. Disturbingly, the whereabouts of most of those who fled the violence to the jungle are unknown.
Among those missing are children and elderly. The AGC is notorious for executions of leftist community leaders and leaders of grassroots organizations.
Only five out 28 families from the Pena Azul community had arrived in the town of Pie de Pato by Sunday noon, reported the Human Rights Commission of the Peoples’ Congress.
Some 700 people from eight townships in the municipality of Alto Baudo, including Batatal, Las Declicias, Puerto Misael, Boca de Leon, Punta de Pena and Puerto Cardozo, were also caught in the clashes that went on until the Saturday night.
The Colombian Red Cross reported that it registered 340 people seeking refuge in Pie de Pato, the municipal capital, according to activist radio station Contagio.
A/N & CH/L – nsnbc 06.03.2017