Colombia: Paramilitary successor groups and new criminal bands (bandas criminales, BACRIM), including areas of operation and criminal activities; state response to successor groups and BACRIM, including reintegration of combatants and assistance offered (April 2012-April 2016) [COL105469.E]

Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ottawa

1. Successor Groups and New Criminal Bands (BACRIM)

According to Colombia Reports, a Medellín-based English language news agency, a "large number of AUC [1] [the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia, AUC)] members refused to demobilize and formed successor groups that took over the AUC's drug trade routes" (Colombia Reports 2 Feb. 2016). Human Rights Watch explains that,

[t]he successor groups have been given various labels including paramilitaries, criminal gangs, illegal armed groups, and drug trafficking cartels. Various non-governmental organizations speak of a “new generation of paramilitaries” or “new paramilitary groups.” (Human Rights Watch Feb. 2010, 92)

Other sources also report that BACRIM are descendants of the AUC paramilitaries (Bagley May 2013, 15; Jane's Intelligence Review 4 Apr. 2014, 4), demobilised between 2003 and 2006 (ibid.).

InSight Crime, an organization that analyzes and reports on organized crime in Latin America and the Caribbean (InSight Crime n.d.), states that the name "BACRIM" or criminal bands [derived from the Spanish term bandas criminals], was coined by the Colombian government after the demobilization of the AUC (ibid. 2 May 2004). Human Rights Watch states that "for its part, the Colombian government refuses to call the successor groups paramilitaries— asserting that the paramilitaries have demobilized—and instead labels them 'emerging criminal gangs'" [or BACRIM] (Human Rights Watch Feb. 2010, 92). According to the InSight Crime, "any drug trafficking organizations post-2006" are not "considered paramilitary groups, but rather" BACRIM (InSight Crime 2 May 2014). The same source further explains that the term BACRIM is "used to describe a vast array of different criminal groups and enterprises - essentially any criminal structure not linked to the Marxist rebels" (ibid.).

Jane's Intelligence Review notes that some of the criminal groups, such as Rastrojos and Oficina de Envigado emerged from cartels: Rastrojos emerged from the Norte del Valle drug cartel of Valle del Cauca department and the Oficina de Envigado initially served as "assassins" for Pablo Escobar in Medellín (Jane's Intelligence Review 4 Aug. 2014, 5). Corroborating information could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

Mapping Militant Organizations [2], an academic research project based at Stanford University that "traces the evolution of militant organizations and the interactions that develop between them over time" (n.d.), states that, based on media monitoring,

[t]hough BACRIM emerged predominantly from the AUC, it is different in that it has no clear political agenda. While paramilitaries were criminal gangs, they actively combatted guerrilla groups and their supporters. BACRIM, on the other hand, is exclusively involved in cocaine production, smuggling, and extreme violence. BACRIM's goal is territorial gain and control of the drug trade within its regions of control. (Mapping Militant Organizations 28 Aug. 2015)

A research paper prepared for the International Society for the Study of Drug Policy (ISSDP) conference at University de los Andes in Bogota in 2013 by Bruce Bagley, a professor of international studies at the University of Miami whose research interests focus on US - Latin American relations, with emphasis on drug trafficking and security issues (University of Miami n.d.), similarly states that BACRIM are different from paramilitary groups in several aspects, including the following:

  • They tend to be politically much more deft and subtle in seeking political alliances inside the Colombian economic and political establishment, often hiding their political linkages through indirect contacts and “clean” candidates without records of paramilitary affiliations or ties in the past;
  • They focus on establishing political influence at the municipal and departmental (provincial) levels rather than the national level. (Bagley May 2013, 15)

Jane's Intelligence Review indicates that as of March 2014, the Public Prosecutor's Office (Fiscalía General de la Nación) identified "around 100 criminal gangs, made up of 25-50 members each" (Jane's Intelligence Review 4 Apr. 2014, 22). Other sources report that there were between 3,800 and 10,000 criminal bands in 2014 (Mapping Militant Organizations 28 Aug. 2015; Sullivan Apr./May 2014, 47). According to El Espectador, a Colombian newspaper, there were between 1,800 and 2,000 criminal bands in the country, with a presence in [translation] "at least" 27 out of 32 departments, as of February 2016 (El Espectador 10 Feb. 2016).

1.1 Structure of BACRIM

InSight Crime explains that BACRIM

are criminal networks that operate like franchises. They are made up of many different groups or 'nodes,' all operating under the same umbrella, but often dedicated to different activities.

Criminal networks are far more fluid enterprises than the cartels or federations, with members coming and going depending on the services they offer and the criminal market that exists for those services. These networks are made up of different units or nodes that are interconnected for the purposes of business advancement and facilitation. (InSight Crime 2 May 2014)

Moreover, the same source notes that BACRIM

consists of several different cells spread across a wide geographical area, with several armed components, personnel dedicated to paying off state functionaries, money laundering capabilities and the ability to carry out, or subcontract, a wide array of criminal activities. It is a criminal network rather than a hierarchical, integrated organization. (ibid.)

Further and corroborating information on the structure of BACRIM could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

1.2 Names of BACRIM

Sources identify the following gangs as BACRIM:

Los 115 Jane's Intelligence Review 4 Apr. 2014, 22
Águilas Negras Bagley May 2013, 15; Sullivan Apr./May 2014, 48
Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia Mapping Militant Organizations 28 Aug. 2015; Sullivan Apr/May 2014, 48; Verdad Abierta 21 Dec. 2015
Banda Criminal de Uraba Mapping Militant Organizations 28 Aug. 2015; Sullivan Apr./May 2014, 48
Cacique Pipinta Mapping Militant Organizations 28 Aug. 2015; Sullivan Apr./May 2014, 48
Don Juan Jane's Intelligence Review 4 Apr. 2014, 22
ERPAC, The Popular Revolutionary Anti-terrorist Army of Colombia Mapping Militant Organizations 28 Aug. 2015; Sullivan Apr./May 2014, 48; FIP 16 Oct. 2014
Grupo de Martin Llanos Mapping Militant Organizations 28 Aug. 2015; Sullivan Apr./May 2014, 48
La 25 Jane's Intelligence Review 4 Apr. 2014, 22
La Empresa Jane's Intelligence Review 4 Apr. 2014, 22
La Galera Jane's Intelligence Review 4 Apr. 2014, 22
La Oficina de Envigado Mapping Militant Organizations 28 Aug. 2015; Sullivan Apr./May 2014, 48; FIP 16 Oct. 2014
Los Anticristo Jane's Intelligence Review 4 Apr. 2014, 22
Los Camacoleros Jane's Intelligence Review 4 Apr. 2014, 22
Los Machos Mapping Militant Organizations 28 Aug. 2015; Sullivan Apr./May 2014, 48; Verdad Abierta 21 Dec. 2015
Los Nevados Mapping Militant Organizations 28 Aug. 2015; Sullivan Apr./May 2014, 48
Los Paisas Mapping Militant Organizations 28 Aug. 2015; Sullivan Apr./May 2014, 48
Los Petecuy Jane's Intelligence Review 4 Apr. 2014, 22
Los Rastrojos Bagley May 2013, 15; Sullivan Apr./May 2014, 48; Verdad Abierta 21 Dec. 2015
Los Rolos Jane's Intelligence Review 4 Apr. 2014, 22
Los Urabeños Mapping Militant Organizations 28 Aug. 2015; FIP 16 Oct. 2014
Nueva Generación Mapping Militant Organizations 28 Aug. 2015; Sullivan Apr./May 2014, 48
Renacer Mapping Militant Organizations 28 Aug. 2015; Sullivan Apr./May 2014, 48

1.3 Areas of Operations

InSight Crime reports that BACRIM are "usually" present in several departments: the "weakest BACRIM have a regional presence; the strongest have a national reach and the ability to operate across the country" (InSight Crime 2 May 2014). A 2 April 2014 Jane's Intelligence Review report indicates that the Urabeños criminal group is becoming the "dominant" BACRIM in Colombia and is the "only one with national reach" and a "significant" presence in Medellin, along Colombia's Caribbean coast, and along the Pacific coast (Jane's Intelligence Review 4 Apr. 2014, 21). For more information on the Urabeños, see Response to Information Request COL105044.

In his article published by the Counter Terrorist Magazine, a Miami-based journal for law enforcement, intelligence and special operations professionals (The Counter Terrorist Magazine n.d.), John Sullivan, a senior fellow at Small Wars Journal [3], states that by 2011, BACRIM were present in 347 municipalities (Sullivan Apr./May 2014, 48). Without providing details, Mapping Militant Organizations indicated in 2015 that BACRIM groups were reportedly "active in between 130 to 170 municipalities across the country and in between 15 to 31 of the country's 32 provinces," including in Barbacoas, Nariño, Córdoba, Antioquia, Vichada, and Guaviare (Mapping Militant Organizations 28 Apr. 2015). Corroborating information could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

According to Bagley, the "locus" of BACRIM's activities include Colombia’s Caribbean coast and the Pacific southwest (Bagley May 2013, 15). Jane's Intelligence Review states that criminal gangs are present in Medellin [eg. Los Camacoleros, La Galera, and Los 115], Cali [eg. Los Anticristo, La 25, and Los Petecuy], Buenaventura [eg. La Empresa], Bogota [La Empresa], the northeastern departments of Santander and Norte de Santander, the Caribbean coastal departments of Córdoba, Atlántico, and La Guajira, as well as in coffee-growing areas in Caldas, Quindío, and Risaralda departments (Jane's Intelligence Review 4 Apr. 2014, 22).

According to Sullivan, BACRIM’s areas of operation have spread beyond Colombia's borders (Sullivan Apr./May 2014, 51). Mapping Militant Organizations indicates that BACRIM operate in Spain and Italy and have a "very strong presence" in Ecuador and Venezuela (Mapping Militant Organizations 28 Aug. 2015). The same source notes that BACRIM leaders "have been captured throughout Argentina, Bolivia, Honduras, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela" (ibid.). Without providing details, InSight Crime also reports that BACRIM have cells in other countries capable of carrying out "a wide array of criminal activities," including drug trafficking and money laundering (InSight Crime 2 May 2014). The same source indicates that BACRIM groups in Medellin have links to Mexican cartels; the BACRIM organization Los Rastrojos are allied with the Mexican Sinaloa Cartel and Los Urabeños are linked to Los Zetas (ibid.).

1.4 Activities of the BACRIM

InSight Crime indicates that BACRIM are considered to be the third generation of drug trafficking organizations [4] (InSight Crime 2 May 2014). The same source reports that BACRIM are involved in drug trafficking to the US through Mexican criminal organizations (ibid.). InSight Crime further explains that BACRIM gain half of their revenue from the exportation of cocaine and are involved in other criminal activities, such as extortion, gold mining, micro-trafficking, gambling, contraband smuggling and human trafficking (ibid.). According to Bagley, BACRIM have extended their interests "beyond drug trafficking to include other illegal activities [such as] land piracy, gold mining, timber, as well as legal enterprises" (Bagley May 2013, 15). Sullivan quotes LatAm-Threads, a political blog that offers commentary on Latin American issues (n.d.), as stating that BACRIM are involved in prostitution, unauthorized logging, arms trafficking, and fuel smuggling (Sullivan Apr./May 2014, 50).

According to InSight Crime, BACRIM "have territorial control" and they "control movement corridors throughout the country" (InSight Crime 2 May 2014). The same source indicates that BACRIM "can secure departure points and they do have the ability to punish anybody that interferes with the flow of narcotics" (ibid.). Without providing details, the US Department of State's Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2014 states that organized criminal groups displaced civilians "residing along key drug and weapon transit corridors" (US 25 June 2015, 24). Amnesty International (AI) reports that BACRIM commit crimes and serious human right violations, threatening and killing, among others, human rights defenders (AI 2015/2016, 4). According to Human Rights Watch, in Buenaventura "entire neighbourhoods" were dominated by paramilitary successor groups - the Urabeños and the Empresa - "who restrict residents' movements, recruit their children, extort their businesses and routinely engage in horrific acts of violence against anyone who defies their will" (Human Rights Watch 2014, 2). The report further states that more than 150 people were reported missing in Buenaventura between January 2010 and December 2013, who are "presumed by officials to have been abducted” by BACRIM organizations (ibid.). For more information on activities of BACRIM in Buenaventura, see Response to Information Request COL105044.

Other examples of BACRIM criminal activity include the following:

  • In November 2012, Los Rastrojos killed 10 farmers in northeast of Bogotá reportedly for not paying an extortion fee to BACRIM (Mapping Militant Organizations 28 Aug. 2015; AP 8 Nov. 2012);
  • In June 2013, a Spanish national was kidnapped by the Rastrojos BACRIM in Corinto, Cauca (Jane's Intelligence Review 4 Apr. 2014, 11). His body was found on 23 August 2013 with multiple gunshot wounds (ibid.);
  • On 5 June 2013, a Spanish man was kidnapped by the Rastrojos in Santander de Quilichao, Cauca (ibid.);
  • In September 2014, the Urabeños and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, FARC) were responsible for an attack on police in Córdoba in which seven people were reportedly killed (Mapping Militant Organizations 28 Aug. 2015);
  • On 11 January 2016, the Northern Atlantic Coast Bloc of the Black Eagles (Bloque Norte Costa Atlántica Águilas Negras) circulated a pamphlet in Atlántico Department with death threats naming around 40 individuals, including human rights defenders, trade unionists, land claimants and a government official working on land restitution (AI 2015/2016, 4).

Further or corroborating information on the incidents could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

1.5 Relationships with Other Groups

BBC quotes Colombian authorities as stating that in some regions, BACRIM "have joined forces with left-wing rebels to run drug-trafficking operations, while in other areas the new gangs and the guerillas have clashed" (BBC 29 Aug. 2013). In an interview with Verdad Abierta , a website that compiles information on the armed conflict, criminal groups and paramilitaries in Colombia, the coordinator of the defunct National Commission for Reparation and Reconciliation (Comisión Nacional de Reparación y Reconciliación) stated that [translation] "several criminal groups" work together with FARC and the National Liberation Army [Ejército de Liberación Nacional, ELN] (Verdad Abierta 16 Jan. 2016). For example, in Nariño, there are links between criminal groups and the ELN in the drug trafficking business (ibid.). Foundation Ideas for Peace (Fundación Ideas para la Paz, FIP), a Bogotá-based "independent think tank" that seeks to generate knowledge and ideas for peace building in Colombia (FIP n.d.), states that [translation] "alliances between insurgent groups and criminal factions have been consolidated [during the peace negotiations between FARC and the government of Colombia]. This is reflected in the territorial division, with invisible boundaries defining who has control" over which area (ibid. Jan. 2016, 14). For information on the peace negotiations between FARC and the government, see Response to Information Request COL105467.

In an interview with Verdad Abierta , the Director of the Peace Observatory (Observatorio para la Paz) of the department of Valle del Cauca stated that there are territorial disputes between FARC and criminal groups in Bajo San Juan [located at the border between the departments of Valle del Cauca and Chocó (El Pueblo 30 Nov. 2015)] (Verdad Abierta 16 Jan. 2016). According to FIP, there are alliances related to drug trade between FARC and other criminal groups, including the following: FARC's 57th Front with the Urabeños in the region of Urabá [departments of Chocó, Antioquia and Córdoba] and in the Paramillo Massif [departments of Antioquia and Córdoba]; the 59th Front with the Rastrojos and the Urabeños in the departments of La Guajira and Cesar; the 48th Front with [translation] "some criminal groups" in the department of Putumayo; the 7th Front with ERPAC in the department of Meta; and Fronts 6, 30 and 57 with the Rastrojos on the Pacific coast (FIP 16 Oct. 2014). Corroborating information could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

Without providing details, Jane's Intelligence Review cites Colombian media and InSight Crime as stating that, "FARC has been passing on bomb-making skills to some BACRIM units" (Jane's Intelligence Review 4 Apr. 2014, 5). The same source indicates that BACRIM and FARC often fight each other for extortion rights from mining profits in remote areas of Colombia where there is limited security force presence (ibid., 13). Further or corroborating information could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

1.6 Government Infiltration

Mapping Militant Organizations indicates that BACRIM use ties to Colombian officials to protect their business interests (Mapping Militant Organizations 28 Aug. 2015). Sullivan also states that BACRIM seek to avoid interference from the government by "corrupting and co-opting state officials and institutions" (Sullivan Apr./May 2014, 52). The same source further notes that "co-opted officials" provide cover for BACRIM and help them to avoid prosecution (ibid.). According to Mapping Militant Organizations, "through corruption and the use of bribes, BACRIM involve police, security forces, municipal council members, and mayors to protect its own business interests" (Mapping Militant Organizations 28 Aug. 2015). Country Reports 2014 similarly states that members of government security forces, including enlisted personnel, non-commissioned officers, and officers were "collaborating with or tolerating" the activities of organized criminal groups (US 25 June 2015, 2).

Colombia Reports indicates that "frequently, soldiers and policemen are arrested for trafficking drugs or arms in conjunction" with BACRIM (Colombia Reports 2 Feb. 2016). Without providing details, Mapping Militant Organizations reported in August 2015 that allegedly, "more than 200 anticorruption investigations of Colombian officials were ongoing due to suspected ties" to BACRIM (Mapping Militant Organizations 28 Aug. 2015). According to Country Reports 2014, between 1 January and 8 July 2015, 41 government employees, including members of the armed forces, were arrested and charged for connections with illegal criminal groups (US 25 June 2015, 3). Corroborating information could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

2. State Response

According Jane's Intelligence Review, in 2011 the Colombian government declared BACRIM the "biggest national security threat in Colombia" and shifted security funding from the military to the police in order to confront the criminal organizations (4 Apr. 2014, 5). Human Rights Watch similarly cites a 2009 directive of the Colombian Ministry of Defense as stating that the "'National Police will have primacy in the fight against the BACRIM'" (Human Rights Watch Feb. 2010, 94). The same source further cites Colombian government sources as indicating that the Division of Carabineers and Rural Security is the police unit responsible for carrying out most operations against BACRIM (ibid.). Quoting information provided by the Colombian Police, Human Rights Watch notes that 51 out of 71 police mobile squads were assigned to fight against BACRIM in rural areas (ibid.).

In a February 2016 article, news agency Agencia EFE reports that a police search unit (bloque de búsqueda) was created in order to fight organized crime in Colombia (Agencia EFE 24 Feb. 2016). According to the same source, 161 operations were assigned to this unit, [translation] "including those aiming at locating main ringleaders of BACRIM" (ibid.). El Espectador indicates that the search unit was created in February 2016 and it is comprised of 500 officers from 8 operational divisions of the police (El Espectador 7 Mar. 2016). The same source quotes a national police general, commenting on the activities of the search unit, as stating that as of March 2016, 147 people were arrested, including 9 ringleaders, and 150 firearms alongside 12 tons of cocaine were confiscated (ibid.). Further and corroborating information on the activities of the search unit could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

Without providing details, an article published on 1 February 2016 in Vanguardia, a Bucaramanga-based newspaper, quotes Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos as saying that 19,000 people have been arrested, 59 ringleaders have been [translation] "neutralized" and thousands of weapons have been seized as part of the fight against criminal gangs (Vanguardia 1 Feb. 2016). Corroborating information could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

Vanguardia indicates that in February 2016, Santos announced new measures to combat BACRIM and organized crime (ibid.). According to sources, the government announced that military operations will focus on BACRIM in order to prevent the paramilitary successor groups from overtaking criminal operations from demobilizing FARC units (El Espectador 10 Feb. 2016; Colombia Reports 2 Feb. 2016). El Tiempo, a Bogota-based newspaper, states that the Office of the Attorney General authorized aerial bombardments against [translation] "the most powerful criminal groups" (El Tiempo 19 Dec. 2015). For example, according to the same newspaper, in November 2015, 12 members of the Urabeños were killed during a government bombing in Chocó (ibid. 3 Nov. 2015).

Jane's Intelligence Review notes that small-scale criminal gangs, which are "unlikely to have more than 50 members or have significant military capability," are "difficult for authorities to tackle" (Jane's Intelligence Review 4 Apr. 2014, 21). According to Bagley, criminal organizations or criminal trafficking networks are "less vulnerable to law enforcement and state repression" than major cartels (Bagley May 2013, 15). Further or corroborating information could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

Notes

[1] According to InSight Crime, the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia - AUC) was "a coalition of right-wing death squads" involved in drug trafficking, displacement, kidnapping, and extortion .

[2] The Mapping Militant Organizations report cites information from a variety of secondary sources including academic journal articles and local media reports.

[3] Small Wars Journal, which is run by a non-profit corporation Small Wars Foundation, "facilitates the exchange of information among practitioners, thought leaders, and students of Small Wars" (Small Wars Journal n.d.). Sullivan's article in the Counter Terrorist Magazine draws on secondary sources including media monitoring and academic journal articles.

[4] Sources explain that the first generation of drug traffickers was comprised of large cartels (Mapping Militant Organizations 28 Aug. 2015; InSight Crime 2 May 2014), such as the Medellín and Cali Cartels; the second was comprised of "'baby' cartels" - "federations of drug traffickers and mafiosos that worked together, and, in many cases, ended up fighting each other;" BACRIM represents the third generation of drug traffickers (ibid.).

References

Agencia EFE. 24 February 2016. "La Policía colombiana se enfoca en el crimen organizado en la transparencia interna." [Accessed 30 Mar. 2016]

Amnesty International (AI). 2016. "Colombia." Amnesty International Report 2015/16: The State of the World's Human Rights. [Accessed 1 Apr. 2016]

Associated Press (AP). 8 November 2012. Cesar Garcia and Luis Benavides. "10 Peasants Killed by Drug-trafficking Paramilitaries in Colombia's Worst Massacre Since 2009." [Accessed 1 Apr. 2016]

Bagley, Bruce. May 2013. "Drug Trafficking and Organized Crime in Latin America and the Caribbean in the Twenty First Century: Challenges to Democracy." Paper Prepared for the ISSDP at Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, Colombia. [Accessed 22 Mar. 2016]

British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). 29 August 2013. "Profiles: Colombia's Armed Groups." [Accessed 30 Mar. 2016]

Colombia Reports. 2 February 2016. Adriaan Alsema. "Santos Orders Intensified Offensive Targeting Colombia's Paramilitary Successor Groups." [Accessed 1 Apr. 2016]

The Counter Terrorist Magazine. N.d. "About." [Accessed 30 Mar. 2016]

El Espectador. 7 March 2016. "Colombian Police Commander Rejects Airstrikes Against Criminal Gangs." (Factiva)

El Espectador. 10 February 2016. "Bloquear avance de BACRIM, el reto en posconflicto." [Accessed 30 Mar. 2016]

El Pueblo. 30 November 2015. "La comunidad Wonaan regresó a su tierra ancestral en el bajo San Juan." [Accessed 19 Apr. 2016]

El Tiempo. 19 December 2015. "Estrategia contra las BACRIM se reorientará tras aval para bombardeos." [Accessed 30 Mar. 2016]

El Tiempo. 3 November 2015. "Primer bombardeo directo a banda criminal: mueren 12 del 'clan Úsuga'." [Accessed 20 Apr. 2016]

Fundación Ideas Para la Paz (FIP). January 2016. Juan Carlos Garzón, María Victoria Llorente, Eduardo Álvarez Vanegas and Andrés Preciado. Economías criminales en clave de postconflicto: tendencias actuales y propuestas para hacerles frente. [Accessed 19 Apr. 2016]

Fundación Ideas Para la Paz (FIP). 16 October 2014. Carlos Andrés Prieto. "La relación FARC-BACRIM y sus lugares comunes." [Accessed 14 Mar. 2016]

Fundación Ideas Para la Paz (FIP). N.d. "About Us." [Accessed 18 Mar. 2016]

Human Rights Watch. 2014. The Crisis in Buenaventura: Disappearance, Dismemberment, and Displacement in Colombia's Main Pacific Port. [Accessed 14 Mar. 2016]

Human Rights Watch. February 2010. Paramilitaries' Heirs: The New Face of Violence in Colombia. [Accessed 30 Mar. 2016]

InSight Crime. 2 May 2014. Jeremy McDermott. "The BACRIM and Their Position in Colombia's Underworld." [Accessed 14 Mar. 2016]

InSight Crime. N.d.a. "About Us." [Accessed 14 Mar. 2016]

InSight Crime. N.d.b. "AUC." [Accessed 15 June 2016]

Jane's Intelligence Review. 4 April 2014. FARC Peace Deal Likely in 2015 but Organised Crime Gangs to Proliferate in Colombia. [Accessed 14 Mar. 2016]

LatAm-Threads. N.d. "Welcome!" [Accessed 21 Apr. 2016]

Mapping Militant Organizations, Stanford University. 28 August 2015. "Bandas Criminales." [Accessed 26 Feb. 2016]

Mapping Militant Organizations, Stanford University. N.d. "About." [Accessed 16 Mar. 2016]

Small Wars Journal. N.d. "About." [Accessed 30 Mar. 2016]

Sullivan, John. P. April/May 2014. "BACRIM: Colombian Bandas Criminales Emergentes." The Counter Terrorist Magazine. [Accessed 30 Mar. 2016]

United States (US). 25 June 2015. Department of State. "Colombia." Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2014. [Accessed 14 Mar. 2016]

University of Miami. N.d. "Department of International Studies - Faculty." [Accessed 16 Mar. 2016]

Vanguardia. 1 February 2016. "Santos anuncia medidas para combatir las BACRIM." [Accessed 31 Mar. 2016]

Verdad Abierta. 16 January 2016. "Bandas criminales: ¿simples criminales o tercera generación de 'paras'?" [Accessed 18 Mar. 2016]

Verdad Abierta. 21 December 2015. "¿Neoparamilitares o criminales?" [Accessed 18 Mar. 2016]

Additional Sources Consulted

Oral sources: Fundación Ideas Para la Paz; Human Rights Watch; Professors at the University of Miami; Professor at the Universidad Eafit.

Internet sites, including: Amnesty International; Centro Nacional de Memoria Histórica; Colombia – Defensoría del Pueblo, Ministerio de Defensa Nacional, Ministerio del Interior; Conflict Analysis Resource Center; Corporación Nuevo Arco Iris; Council of the Americas; Diálogo: Digital Military Magazine; The Economist; El Colombiano; Elnuevosiglo.com; El País; Freedom House; Instituto de Estudios Internacionales y Europeanos Francisco de Vitoria; Instituto de Estudios para el Desarrollo y la Paz; International Crisis Group; Las2Orillas.co; Organization of American States; Semana; Universidad Nacional Periódico; United Nations – Refworld, UN Organization for Drug Control; Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA); The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.