United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia

aka Group of Colombia

Led by Carlo Castano, the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia; AUC) is a right-wing paramilitary group formed in 1984 to combat guerrilla militias in Colombia. Its use of terror to destroy the guerrillas' support base has made it a feared and powerful force in that country.

Since the mid-1960s, the Colombian government has been fighting several leftist terror groups; the two largest are the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN). The activities of these groups, combined with the cocaine industry (in which the FARC is heavily involved) have made Colombia a very dangerous country. In addition to bombing, extortion, and attacks on military bases and oil pipelines, both the ELN and the FARC have used kidnapping for ransom as a major source of revenue. Initiated in the late 1970s, kidnappings ...

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