I was threatened by neo-paramilitaries: Mayor of town in southwestern Colombia

Posted on May 22 2014 - 11:38pm by TNN
Paramilitary

The mayor of the town of Rosas in the southwestern state of Cauca, along with other functionaries and several teachers were threatened on Thursday by a faction of neo-paramilitaries

Eblin Ruth Lúligo, the mayor of Rosas, was threatened by a group known as the Aguilas Negras (Black Eagles), and given three days to leave the town or face assassination, the mayor told W Radio. The threat was carried out by means of a letter left in the local office of the prosecutor general. Other functionaries within the municipality and several teachers were also threatened with death in the same message.

The mayor denounced the letter in front of international and national human rights organizations, according to Radio Super Popayan.

The mayor stated in an interview with local radio station in Cauca, Radio Super Popayan, “my security is fine, but it should be reinforced that I am concerned about the other people threatened as they do not have any form of protection.” Last year, the mayor’s brother was killed after making public the threats leveled against him.

FACT SHEET: Aguilas Negras

The state of Cauca has traditionally been at the center of the Colombian armed conflict, being a hotbed of activity by far right-wing paramilitary groups such as the umbrella group known as the AUC and their successors, as well as guerrilla groups such as the FARC and ELN.

FACT SHEET: FARC

FACT SHEET: ELN

The Aguilas Negras became the most active of neo-paramilitary groups to defend the interests of the demobilized paramilitary capos and their alleged civilian and political allies.

MORE: Aguilas Negras neo-paramilitaries ‘terrorize’ Colombia’s journalists: NGO

MORE: 39 of Colombia’s cities affected by armed conflict: Red Cross

The group is also known for actively intimidating, threatening and assassinating local leaders and journalists for speaking out against their practices and since the foundation of the Aguilas Negras, the name — believed to only be involved in minor, local drug trafficking activities — appeared on death threats aimed at both Colombian and international NGOs, and defenders of displaced families trying to reclaim land stolen by the paramilitaries.

Sources

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