HomeNewsBriefColombia Govt Will Not Negotiate With BACRIM: Minister
BRIEF

Colombia Govt Will Not Negotiate With BACRIM: Minister

COLOMBIA / 15 APR 2016 BY ELYSSA PACHICO EN

Colombia's defense minister recently said that the criminal groups descended from right-wing paramilitary organizations should expect no formal demobilization process, reigniting a long-simmering debate in the country. 

Defense Minister Luis Villegas made the comments about Colombia's criminal bands -- which the government refers to as BACRIM -- during an April 13 military ceremony, reported Vanguardia.  

"[The BACRIM] are organized crime and that's how they'll be treated," he said. "They'll be no political deals for big or small groups. There will only be encounters with the armed forces and paying their dues before justice."

The minister also implied that the government would not create a special legal framework to encourage BACRIM members to disarm, as the government did in 2005 for right-wing paramilitary groups with the Justice and Peace Law. "If [the BACRIM] want to submit themselves to justice, the laws and offices are there to receive them," he said. 

InSight Crime Analysis

The demobilization of Colombia's paramilitary groups in the mid-2000s has come under strong criticism for its shortcomings, so it is no surprise that officials like Villegas are wary of treating the BACRIM similarly to the paramilitaries under Colombian law. Indeed, the BACRIM formed out of remnant paramilitary factions that did not fully disarm. 

Nevertheless, there has been previous discussion of offering BACRIM members certain benefits to encourage them to cooperate with police and prosecutors. There has already been one prominent example of a BACRIM surrendering en masse to the government, although the process did not go smoothly.

SEE ALSO:  Colombia News and Profiles

The most prominent BACRIM that has been pushing for inclusion in a demobilization process is the Urabeños, currently believed to be the most powerful drug trafficking organization in the country. At the moment, the Urabeños are present in 22 of Colombia's 32 departments, according to the government.

The Urabeños originally emerged from the remnants of demobilized paramilitary factions in 2008. This helps explain why the group is trying to present itself as a political actor in Colombia's conflict, and hence worthy of inclusion in a demobilization process. But as Villegas made clear, the government is far from convinced.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

COCA / 12 JUL 2022

The historic publication of the Final Report from Colombia’s Truth Commission has crystallized the core issues that president-elect Gustavo Petro…

COCAINE / 29 SEP 2021

Accused paramilitary drug lord “Memo Fantasma,” or “Will the Ghost,” has petitioned a judge to be let out of a…

COLOMBIA / 21 FEB 2022

Three retired Colombian army commanders have been accused of belonging to a criminal network that served the Urabeños drug clan,…

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…