The neo-paramilitary network Aguilas Negras (Black Eagles) issued pamphlets on Friday threatening “FARC symphatizers” with “social cleansing” in Colombia’s southwestern Cauca department.
“The time for social cleansing in northern Cauca has come,” began the pamphlet distributed in the Cauca municipalities of Miranda, Caloto and Corinto.
The three municipalities are considered to be strongholds of left-wing FARC rebels.
“The Black Eagles are communicating to the population in the northern Cauca […] especially those belonging ethnic groups claiming to form part of ‘peasant reserves’ that they are led by a bunch of sons of whores who have links to the FARC. In the next few days we will be present to commit social cleansing in […] Miranda, Caloto and Corinto,” said the message, signed by “Aguilas Negras,” “Los Rastrojos” and “AUC.”
The pamphlet said “for your information we cannot be held responsible for civilian deaths because we give them the opportunity to leave the territory and thereby save their own lives,” the pamphlet continued.
The term “social cleansing” has traditionally been used by Colombian paramilitaries to describe the process of killing left-wing sympathizers, rebels, workers union members, prostitutes, homeless people and others considered undesirable from the perspective of the paramilitaries.
“We have arrived in Cauca to give lead to the motherfuckers of the FARC and their sympathizers,” concluded the pamphlet.
Aguilas Negras is apparently a loose network of right-wing neo-paramilitaries, whose background has been traced to the 2004-2006 demobilization of the paramilitary United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, or AUC. The designation “Aguilas Negras” has been used by a number of so-called Bacrim criminal groups in Colombia, including the drug trafficking organization Los Rastrojos and the neo-paramilitary group Los Urabeños.
Bacrim is a government-imposed designation for the criminal groups that arose after the demobilization of the AUC.