The FARC Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia relied upon coca production and the resulting profits to finance its insurgency and impose territorial control. The resulting narco-insurgency created links between the FARC insurgents and a number of criminal enterprises. The peace process following the termination of hostilities between the Colombian state and the FARC has left a void in the criminal economy. As the peace process moves forward, ending a half-century conflict, there is concern that disaffected FARC fighters—and their heavy weapons—could fall into the hands of powerful drug gangs such as the First Capital Command PCC in Brazil or the Gulf Clan in Colombia.

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They are requested by IRB decision makers. Please note that some RIR have attachments which are not electronically accessible here.

To obtain a copy of an attachment, please e-mail us. Similarly, several sources state that paramilitary successor groups are led by former paramilitary members Human Rights Watch ; The Economist 14 Jan. The Colombian government has labelled the new criminal bands " bacrim " [derived from the term bandas criminales Human Rights Watch Feb. An InSight Crime article indicates that, according to the government, bacrim are "not linked to the old paramilitaries" and are a "new phenomenon" InSight Crime 11 Mar.

In a Jane's Intelligence Review article discussing two of the new criminal groups, the author says that the government officially calls these groups bacrim in order to "distinguish them from their paramilitary and drug cartel predecessors" 12 Oct. International Crisis Group notes that the term bacrim , or criminal gangs, is used by the government to designate new illegally armed groups NIAGs and paramilitary successors International Crisis Group 25 July , i.

In a study done in the first six months of , the Institute for the Study of Development and Peace Instituto de estudios para el desarrollo y la paz , Indepaz , a Colombian NGO that maintains the tenants of [translation]"training, research, creation of dialogue spaces, and makes incursions into themes of development and peace, strengthening of youth and ethnic organizations, and multiparty dialogues, such as business, professional organizations, governments, political parties and social organizations" Indepaz n.

Jane's Intelligence Review , in an analysis of two bacrim , notes that one of them, known as the Rastrojos , was formed from "remnants of the now-defunct Norte del Valle Cartel " 12 Oct. Human Rights Watch indicates that, as of October , successor groups had approximately 5, members In a 1 March interview, an assistant professor of political science at the Universidad de los Andes, with research expertise in the Colombian armed conflict and drug trafficking, noted that the bacrim are not the same size as the paramilitary groups of the AUC.

An article in the Economist notes that the "AUC purported to have political aims, fighting leftist guerrillas and acting as the local state where the government was absent, while committing savage murders and engaging in criminal rackets" 14 Jan.

Jane's Intelligence Review notes that the AUC paramilitaries claimed to be "motivated by anti-insurgent ideals" 12 Oct. However, bacrim do not follow this ideology, as they have "no appetite to fight the insurgents and, unlike the paramilitaries, do not have the manpower to do so" Jane's 12 Oct.

The Assistant Professor also noted that these new groups are [translation] "private armies whose aim is to control the drug trade" 1 Mar. Similarly, the Economist states that the majority of the successor groups are just "drug gangs" 14 Jan.

According to the Assistant Professor, there are four or five main groups that emerged after the demobilization of the AUC for drug trafficking negotiations 1 Mar. These bacrim do have a type of command structure but each local group has autonomy Assistant Professor 1 Mar. Similarly, an article in Jane's Intelligence Review , analyzing two of the bacrim , describes these groups as "criminal networks" that are not "vertically integrated structures" 12 Oct.

The article further describes them as. Jane's 12 Oct. Amnesty International AI says in its written statement to the 19th session of the UN Human Rights Council that the bacrim "continue to expand and consolidate their presence across Colombia" 10 Feb. CNAI says that, since , the bacrim "have remained in the same territories, where they are consolidating their presence" 8 Feb.

The Assistant Professor noted that [translation] "with the exception of modernized areas with a high institutional presence, the majority of regions in Colombia are impacted by the presence of an armed group, such as the [b]acrim" 1 Mar. According to CNAI's report on violence in Colombia, bacrim are present in municipalities, mostly on the Caribbean coast, the Pacific coast and in Antioquia [department] 8 Feb. In their seventh study of the presence of bacrim in Colombia, however, Indepaz says that, in , these groups were present in municipalities in 31 departments The Assistant Professor noted that the bacrim are fighting for territorial control 1 Mar.

However, according to the same article, the two groups have entered into negotiations to halt the war between the bacrim and divide the main drug trafficking areas in Colombia El Tiempo 15 Feb.

Human Rights Watch points to "concerns of ongoing infiltration of the political system by paramilitaries and their successor groups" Jane's Intelligence Review also says that the Rastrojos also infiltrate state institutions in their areas of operation 12 Oct.

Several sources list drug trafficking as the main criminal activity of the bacrim Insight Crime 2 June ; Jane's 12 Oct. Other criminal activities include illegal mining Assistant Professor 1 Mar. Human Rights Watch reports that the paramilitary successor groups "commit widespread abuses against civilians, including massacres, killings, rapes and other forms of sexual violence, threats, and forced displacement" The Associate Professor also noted that the bacrim are known to kill civilians if they do not comply with the rules they have imposed on the locality they control 1 Mar.

According to the same organization, the bacrim are also involved in human trafficking networks, the use of children as "fighters and informants" and sexual abuse of girls International Crisis Group 31 Oct. InSight Crime also states that those paramilitaries that did not fully demobilize are implicated in "grave human rights violations" such as "attacks on civilians, especially activists and community leaders" 2 June AI also reports that paramilitaries are responsible for "serious human rights violations, sometimes with the collusion or acquiescence of the security forces, including killings and enforced disappearances, as well as 'social cleansing' operations in poor urban neighbourhoods" 10 Feb.

The people most at risk from these abuses are those living in rural areas, specifically indigenous and Afro-descendent people, as well as peasant-farmer communities, those that live in poverty in urban areas, human rights defenders, and trade unionists AI 10 Feb. Human Rights Watch also notes that successor groups "have repeatedly targeted human rights defenders, Afro-Colombian and indigenous leaders, trade unionists, and victims' groups seeking justice and recovery of land" The Assistant Professor indicated that the bacrim target human rights defenders if they impede the group's specific interests 1 Mar.

Human Rights Watch reports that successor groups to paramilitaries allegedly are responsible for killings of members of indigenous communities in the north of Colombia 8 July According to the Americas Director of the organization, "'Indigenous communities suffer extreme violence at the hands of Colombia's powerful armed groups, including successor groups to paramilitaries,'" and the armed groups "'murder, threaten, and forcibly displace" the indigenous communities Human Rights Watch 8 July Human Rights Watch reports that the Rastrojos sent a death threat in June targeting "numerous rights organizations and individual defenders, including several prominent advocates for the rights of women and internally displaced persons" According to Human Rights Watch, successor groups are allegedly responsible for the 34 percent increase in massacres reported in , with that number continuing to increase during the first six months of A 7 July article in the Economist says that bacrim are responsible for "recent attacks on human-rights activists and some massacres of villagers.

According to AI, the Victims and Land Restitution Law acknowledges the rights of victims in Colombia's armed conflict, and "provides reparations for many survivors of human rights abuses," such as return of stolen land; however, AI also says that there are no "safeguards to ensure that returnees are not forced to again cede control over their land to those who had forcibly displaced them or to others" 10 Feb.

The Americas Director of Human Rights Watch, in an article discussing the Victims and Land Restitution Law, which came into effect 10 June , expressed the view that the "'ongoing violence against displaced communities will make effective implementation of this legislation a real challenge'" 10 June According to Human Rights Watch, bacrim are allegedly responsible for many of the attacks against "displaced communities seeking restitution of their lands [which] have been subject to repeated violence, threats, and intimidation" 10 June Similarly, according to AI, "[a]ctivists working on land restitution or representing displaced communities have been particularly at risk" of human rights abuses by paramilitary groups 10 Feb.

AI also notes that, in this threat, the Black Eagles Capital Bloc paramilitaries said that the latter were. Moreover, an article in El Espectador reports that there are [translation] "anti-restitution armies" in municipalities 2 Mar.

The Associate Professor also indicated that one of the main goals of the bacrim is to become [translation] "the government on the municipal level" in Colombia 1 Mar. An article published by VerdadAbierta.

The group distributed leaflets in six northern departments that declared, "'We don't want to see anyone on the streets, doing any work'" The Economist 14 Jan. This caused the "shut down [of] transport, commerce and even government offices" ibid. The group also "burned 11 vehicles for violating their ban on movement. According to VerdadAbierta. According to the ombudsman, people are too afraid to make complaints to the authorities ibid.

Reasons for the displacements include threats and extortion by the bacrim , or escaping the conflict between the groups "as they vie for economic and territorial control" CNAI 8 Feb. CNAI reports that, in the beginning of the Colombian government indicated that the bacrim are the "greatest security threat to the country" 8 Feb. In March , the Minister of Defence also said that the government would use the armed forces to fight the bacrim Colombia 12 Mar.

The Chief of the National Police reported in November that, in the last year, they had captured 2, bacrim members, including 70 heads of the groups ibid. According to the CNAI report, the government captured 2, bacrim members in the first nine months of and killed an additional 37 8 Feb.

Similarly, an article in El Tiempo says that, in , 3, bacrim members were captured by the authorities 9 Jan. CNAI says similarly in its report that only 20 of them were detained with the rest going free 8 Feb. CNAI calls the submission to the authorities by ERPAC "partial," and notes that there are "signs of a continuation of activities by those who did not turn themselves in" 8 Feb.

The CNAI report adds that the. The captures only appear to lead to the promotion of some other member of the illegal armed organization but not to the complete dismantling of the group as a whole. Human Rights Watch indicates that "[t]oleration of the groups by public security force members is a main factor for their continued power.

At least police officers were jailed in because of alleged ties to successor groups" According to CNAI, the "capacity of the '[b]acrim' to recover by means of forced recruitment as well as the perception of these organizations as a source of employment are both factors that impede the elimination of these organizations" 8 Feb. An article in El Tiempo notes that, at the beginning of , 6, armed bacrim members were still active 9 Jan. Jane's Intelligence Review says that, between and , 30, AUC members demobilized and became part of the Justice and Peace Law amnesty program for former combatants through which paramilitary leaders were "guaranteed not to serve time in prison;" however, the law was changed by Congress and the Constitutional Court, and AUC leaders were required to turn themselves in, something "many refused" to do 12 Oct.

Human Rights Watch says in its World Report that the. At this writing, more than six years after the law was approved, special prosecutors had only obtained three convictions and recovered a small fraction of paramilitaries' illegally acquired assets. This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection.

Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request. Amnesty International AI. Telephone interview with the Research Directorate. Ministerio de Defensa Nacional.

Observatorio del Conflicto Armado. The Economist. El Espectador. Human Rights Watch. February International Crisis Group. Latin America Report No. Latin American Report No. InSight - Organized Crime in the Americas. Elyssa Pachico.

Hannah Stone. Instituto de Estudios para el Desarrollo y la Paz Indepaz. VII Informe sobre presencia de grupos narcoparamilitares en el Los grupos narcoparamilitares avanzan. Jane's Intelligence Review. Jeremy McDermott. Pilar Lozano.


Así están distribuídas las Bacrim en Colombia

These criminal hybrids oversee cocaine trafficking and have established illicit empires in illegal mining, extortion, and the trafficking of everything from people to weapons. Today, the Colombian underworld — flooded with cocaine from booming coca production and rife with criminal opportunities created by the withdrawal of thousands of demobilizing leftist insurgents — stands on the cusp of seismic change. Based on three years of investigation and interviews with current and former BACRIM members with different ranks and responsibilities, this report presents the BACRIM in the words of its members, as well as their victims and the Colombian authorities. Some names have been changed, and some of their faces and voices have been obscured or distorted to protect their identities. He left Bajo Cauca after the arrest of several senior members of the cell, fearing that his identity would be revealed to the police. He has been involved in the murder of scores of people, though he says he never pulled the trigger.


The BACRIM and Their Position in Colombia’s Underworld

WOLA 15 Feb. In correspondence with the Research Directorate, an Amnesty International AI campaigner for Colombia stated that "[m]any of [the] new groups are led by individuals who were middle-ranking commanders in the pre-demobilization paramilitary groups since most of the top leaders were extradited to the US to face drugs trafficking charges " AI 24 Mar. US 3 Mar. In response to an Amnesty International report that indicates that paramilitary groups continue to operate in Colombia, Colombian radio station W Radio cites Colombia's Minister of Defence as stating that Colombia [translation] "has been able to overcome the sad history of paramilitaries" W Radio 22 Feb. According to the same source, Colombia's Minister of Defence stated that there are organized criminal gangs, which do not have [translation] "a doctrine or political agenda for society," and that the amount of criminal bands is half of what it was six years ago W Radio 22 Feb. According to the same source, the "paramilitary successor groups known as bandas criminales [criminal gangs] - BACRIM, grupos emergentes [emerging groups], or combos pursue functions of territorial, social, and economic control exerted by violent means" Wienand and Tremaria Jan. The same source defines a GAO as follows: [translation] "group that, under the direction of a unified command, exercises control over a part of the territory that allows them to carry out sustained and concerted military operations" Colombia 22 Apr.


Explainer: After the FARC, Colombia Still Has to Face Bacrim

Alexandra Phelan, John P. Of increasing concern is the active strategic repositioning of these entities to maximize their trans- and post-pandemic postures to the detriment of the communities within which they are embedded and the public institutions meant to represent them. ELN Combatant. Families are being shot dead for breaking coronavirus restrictions in rural Colombia as guerrillas enforce a brutal parallel lockdown. Armed groups, many of them dissidents of the now disbanded Farc militia, are declaring those who break the rules to be military targets in a bid to sow fear and expand their territories while the government turns a blind eye. Este portal se dio a la tarea de recopilar mensajes emitidos al parecer por distintas organizaciones armadas ilegales. Third Generation Gang Analysis.

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