Colombia’s largest paramilitary successor group AGC, a.k.a. “Los Urabeños,” are upholding a three-day unilateral ceasefire to support yet another call to be included in the country’s peace process.
The successors of paramilitary group AUC announced their unilateral cessation of activity that began Sunday and will last until Tuesday through pamphlets spread in their area of influence.
The AGC, or Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, is Colombia’s largest active illegal armed group now that the Marxist FARC group is upholding a ceasefire with the government.
The announcement was not confirmed on the group’s website or Twitter account.
We peacefully call on all rural and urban generators of violence, like the collective leadership of [Medellin crime syndicate and AGC ally] La Oficina and others who directly or indirectly take part in the armed conflict to show solidarity for a special period of peace during the 16th, 17th and 18th of October.
Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AGC)
With the unilateral ceasefire, the paramilitary successors seek “the country live in peace and tranquility ending all extortion and killings and other activities that generate violence against the civilian population.”
While generally avoiding direct combat with the military, paramilitary successor groups like the AGC have embarked on a cop-killing spree since last year and are considered the country’s primary human rights violator.
The AGC is also the biggest drug trafficking organization in Colombia.
AGC’s areas of influence in Colombia
The AGC said it hoped that other groups, including rivals like the neo-paramilitary Libertadores de Vichada, joined the neo-paramilitary initiative to cease activity.
While the group is in talks with the government of their native Antioquia province, the national government has formally refused to talk to the group that was formed by paramilitaries who refused to take part in the AUC’s 2003-2006 demobilization program.
Claiming more than 2,000 of their former brothers in arms were assassinated by former allies in the police, military and politics after the AUC’s demobilization, the group rearmed and announced its existence in 2008.
In spite of the group’s repeated calls for inclusion in the peace process, President Juan Manuel Santos has consistently ignored these calls.
The president wants the paramilitary successor groups to surrender to justice, claiming they are nothing but a criminal group.
The neo-paramilitaries, however, refuse and demand the AUC’s “failed” demobilization under the administration of former President Alvaro Uribe is corrected through the ongoing peace process with the AUC’s former arch enemies, the FARC.