Demobilized members of illegal armed groups are rearming more than the Colombian government previously admitted. More than 2,000 of them were murdered, despite their official exit from the violent conflict, website verdadabierta.com reported.
According to official police data, 51,000 fighters of both right-wing paramilitary and left-wing guerrilla groups demobilized in the past six year. More than 2,000 were killed after their demobilization and ten percent (5,000) of the demobilized were arrested, because they had continued their criminal activities or enrolled in new paramilitary or drug trafficking organizations.
The department of Antioquia leads the number of assassinations of demobilized members of illegal armed groups; 362 of the murders were committed there, followed by Cordoba with 110 homicides and Cesar with 63. In the Colombian capital Bogota, 63 demobilized were killed.
According to the police report, most murders are related to the rearmament of former paramilitaries and them joining drug trafficking organizations like ‘Los Rastrojos‘ or ‘Los Paisas’, both active in the west of Colombia.
However, the vast majority of arrested or killed members of these new groups are new to the violent conflict and never part of the AUC.
Another problem authorities are facing Colombia’s peace is the ongoing intimidation and murders of former combatants to join the gangs that villed the void after the AUC’s demobilization. According to Frank Pearl, the government’s High Commissioner of Reintegration, these threats are out of control in those towns where drug trafficking is the main economic activity.
Meanwhile, the individual demobilization of fighters continues.