The leaders of three human rights NGOs that work with victims of armed conflict in Colombia reported receiving death threats from the neo-paramilitary criminal gang “Aguilas Negras” (Black Eagles) Tuesday, the news station CM& reported.
“We have declared a direct and upfront war with the objective to exterminate your organizations and your leaders,” said a pamphlet allegedly written by the Uraba Antioqueño bloc of the Aguilas Negras.
The pamphlet was distributed to the headquarters of National Network of Initiatives of Peace and Against War (Redepaz), the Association of Victims for the Restitution of Land and Assets (Asovirestibi), and the New Dawn Humanitarian Foundation (Funumana).
The Aguilas Negras allegedly threatened to kill specific leaders of each organization, including Luis Emil Sanabria, the president of Redepaz.
Sanabria said that he and the other threatened NGO leaders met with the national police, attorney general and officials from the Interior and Agricultural Ministries to “assess the situation not only of the leaders who were named in these threats, but of the context in which these threats exist.”
The Aguilas Negras were formed by former members of the umbrella paramilitary organization AUC who failed to demobilize between 2004 and 2006.
According to the crime analysis website Insight Crime, the paramilitary successors have continually threatened and murdered human rights activists, lawyers and journalists in an apparent effort to protect the economic interests of former mid-level paramilitary commanders across Colombia.