Information on a paramilitary group called "Chamizo" [COL15919.E]

Please find attached several documents that discuss paramilitary groups in Colombia. Information on a group called "Chamizo" could not be found among the sources currently available to the DIRB.

One of the most recent and detailed descriptions of Colombia's paramilitary groups is contained in an article from El Tiempo (16 Apr. 1992). The article quotes analysts as stating that "28 paramilitary organizations with some 7,000 men are now operating in an isolated fashion in 16 departments of Colombia," and adds that "these networks enjoy local power in their own spheres of influence and are financed by drug traffickers, cattle ranchers, peasants, and even foreigners" (ibid.). The report names areas where paramilitary organizations are linked to drug traffickers and adds that in at least one area an emerging paramilitary organization "is subsidized by Venezuelan ranchers and merchants who live near the border and are harassed by guerrilla activities" (ibid.).

The El Tiempo article reports that "the loss of the original identity as a response to terrorist aggression began with the Medellin Cartel's penetration of its structure between 1987 and 1990," adding that after the murder of a paramilitary leader "three different factions emerged: groups seeking to go back to the ideology that initially inspired the movement, others still connected with drug trafficking, and sectors that prefer disarmament" (ibid.). Finally, the article refers to paramilitary forces training centres, some of them located in jungle areas and reportedly run by British and Israeli mercenaries between 1987 and 1989, although new ones have been established in other areas of the country (ibid.).

The attached chapter entitled "Paramilitary Violence" from the 1990 Americas Watch report The "Drug War" in Colombia also provides details on the organization and activities of paramilitary groups. The attached chapter entitled "Subsistence of Paramilitary Violence" from the 1992 Americas Watch report Political Murder and Reform in Colombia provides additional and updated information on this subject. This response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find attached the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


El Tiempo [Bogot , in Spanish]. 16 April 1992. "Structure of Paramilitary Groups Described." (FBIS-LAT-92-102 27 May 1992, 34-35)


Americas Watch. April 1992. Political Murder and Reform in Colombia. Washington, DC: Human Rights Watch, pp. 8-16.

. October 1990. The "Drug War" in Colombia: The Neglected Tragedy of Political Violence. Washington, DC: Human Rights Watch, pp. 9-30.

El Tiempo [Bogot , in Spanish]. 16 April 1992. "Structure of Paramilitary Groups Described." (FBIS-LAT-92-102 27 May 1992, 34-35)

Lawyers Committee for Human Rights. 14 November 1989. Colombia: The Rule of Law Under Attack. New York: Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, pp. 3-4.