AUC

The United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia - AUC) was a coalition of right-wing death squads that used the conflict to camouflage their illicit economic activities. These included drug trafficking, displacement, kidnapping, and extortion. The AUC once operated in two-thirds of the country with approximately 30,000 soldiers.

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Latest News

AUC / 18 MAR 2021

In the wake of former paramilitary leader Hernán Giraldo's deportation to Colombia, an armed group linked to him has reappeared…

AUC / 9 FEB 2021

Operation ‘Tiburón Galloway’ began as a local investigation by prosecutors in the Italian region of Calabria in 2001, but quickly…

AUC / 29 MAR 2020

The Ghost, a paramilitary drug lord, has moved to Madrid with his millions of drug dollars. He has dodged the…

AUC / 29 MAR 2020

“The Ghost” had fled Medellín, tied off loose ends in the underworld and perhaps suspended his drug trafficking activities. He…

AUC / 29 MAR 2020

After the demobilization of the AUC in 2006, the paramilitary high command was behind bars. All except alias “Sebastían Colmenares”…

AUC / 29 MAR 2020

In 1997, the paramilitary army began its bloody campaign across Colombia, supposedly to fight the Marxist rebels, but really to…

Key Actors

Henry de Jesús López, alias ‘Mi Sangre’

COLOMBIA / 2017-03-09 22:14:34

Medellin native Henry de Jesus Lopez, alias "Mi Sangre," had a prolific criminal career that saw him become a key number of several criminal organizations in Colombia.

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About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

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4 FEB 2021

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THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…