Colombia’s Prosecutor General’s Office said Thursday it has registered 173,183 homicides allegedly committed by members of the now-defunct paramilitary organization AUC.
According to the website of the PG Office’s Justice and Peace unit, in charge of investigating crimes committed by the paramilitaries, the AUC committed 1,597 massacres, displaced 74,990 communities and recruited 3,557 minors.
The paramilitaries are also held responsible for 3,532 cases of extortion, 3,527 kidnappings, and 677 cases of rape.
According to the report, 429 politicians and 381 members of the security forces have been investigated for links to the AUC.
The Justice and Peace Unit was created in 2005 as part of the Justice and Peace Law which allowed lower sentences for 31,000 members of the paramilitary organization in exchange for the collaboration with justice and reparation of victims. There were 17,000 paramilitaries excluded from prosecution as they were not suspected of committing crimes against humanity.
The AUC was formed in 1997 when several anti-guerrilla self-defense groups joined hands. The paramilitary umbrella organization was determined a terrorist organization by the U.S. and the E.U. in 2002 and started demobilizing after the inauguration of former President Alvaro Uribe in 2003 who completed the official demobilization of the AUC in 2006.