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Black Eagles
Participant in Colombian Armed Conflict
 
Aguilas Negras
Active 2006 - Present
Ideology Drug Trafficking
Leaders Victor Gonzalez Sierra
Originated as AUC

Black Eagles (Spanish language: Águilas Negras ) is a term describing a series of Colombian drug trafficking, right wing, counter-revolutionary, paramilitary organizations made up of new and preexisting paramilitary forces, who emerged from the failures of the demobilization process between 2004 and 2006, which aimed to disarm the United Self-Defense Units of Colombia (AUC). These were first considered to be a third generation of paramilitary groups but there are Colombian military reports suggesting the Águilas Negras are intermediaries in the drug business between the guerrilla and drug cartels outside Colombia.[1]

As of 2007 they were reported as being active in the city of Barrancabermeja.[2]

Origins

The Black Eagles first appeared in the Norte de Santander Department in 2006.[3] On October 18, 2006 President Álvaro Uribe openly ordered their detention.[4] The government also ordered the creation of a new Search Bloc against the Black Eagles and classified this organization as a gang of former paramilitaries.[5] Las Águilas Negras are one of a number of groups that have formed following the demilitarisation of the AUC, and they are said to be closely linked with Los Urabeños.[6]

Drugs

The Black Eagles are closely associated with drug cartels and are involved in drug trafficking activities, extortions, racketeering and kidnappings. They have also attacked guerrilla members and suspected sympathizers. One individual who has been accused of leading the Black Eagles is former AUC leader Vicente Castaño.[7]

Organization

According to Revista Semana, the new criminal organizations may have up to 4,000 members distributed into 22 identified groups in 200 municipalities and 22 of the 32 departments.

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The upper ranks of the Aguilas Negras are made up of demobilized paramilitaries – either those who voluntarily opted out of the government peace process or those who were forcibly recruited. The lower levels of the group appear to consist of recruits dedicated to drug trafficking. The Aguilas Negras have built upon the criminal networks established by various paramilitary blocs throughout Colombia, but without adapting the same military, hierarchical structure.

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Groups

  • Águilas Negras de Catatumbo: operating in Cúcuta, Chinácota, El Tarra, Tibú, El Zulia and Puerto Santander in Norte de Santander Department, with influence over the towns of Ocaña and Aguachica this last town located in the Cesar Department. (Between 15 and 360 members)
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  • Banda Santander: operating in Riohacha and Maicao, La Guajira Department (Approx. 30 members)
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  • Los Rastrojos: operating in Cauca Department and Valle del Cauca.[8] (Approx. 1200 members).[9]
  • Nueva Generación: Operating in Nariño Department. (Approx. 300 members)
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  • Mano Negra: Operating in the Putumayo Department. (Unknown number of members)[10]

References

External links

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