Neo-paramilitary group the “Aguilas Negras” have recently distributed pamphlets threatening journalists, lawyers, trade unionists and political leaders in the Caribbean coastal city of Barranquilla, media reported Monday.
The group’s Central Caribbean Block distributed the pamphlets around the region during the first week of April.
Colombia’s Ombudsman, Volmar Perez, denounced the pamphlets which he described as having declared a “military offensive” against the aforementioned groups. Volmar also called on the state’s security bodies to “evaluate the authenticity of the threats, identify those responsible and provide urgent protection to those threatened.”
The Aguilas Negras are one of the most feared among the neo-paramilitary criminal gangs, dubbed BACRIMS by the Colombian government, to have emerged from the failed 2003-2006 demobilization process of the AUC.
Despite a number of state-led offensives against such groups this year, particularly in the northern region of the country, neo-paramilitaries still present one of the most significant threats to Colombia’s national security with both the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross expressing their concern.