Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

U.S. Court Issues Landmark Ruling on Paramilitary Violence in Colombia

By Alice Speri, The Intercept

In a civil lawsuit, the court found that the paramilitaries operated in a “symbiotic relationship” with U.S.-funded Colombian forces.

Carlos Mario Jiménez Naranjo, a Colombian paramilitary commander best known as “Macaco,” was responsible for the massacre of hundreds of people between the late 1980s and 2005, when Colombia’s right-wing paramilitaries and government forces alike fought a brutal war against left-wing guerillas and the civilians suspected of sympathizing with them.

Macaco led a group called the Bloque Central Bolívar in Colombia’s Middle Magdalena region; the BCB was dubbed“a killing machine” by another paramilitary commander. Its members murdered upward of 1,300 men, women, and children — a figure Macaco himself admitted to but is widely believed to be a conservative estimate. In the late 1990s, a number of paramilitary groups came together under the banner of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, or AUC in Spanish, a now-disbanded formation that the U.S. and several other governments listed as a terrorist organization. Macaco’s BCB forces made up the group’s largest and most violent unit.


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