April 12, 2006

Colombia's AUC "formally" disbands

Last members of feared Colombian militia disarm.

BOGOTA, Colombia (Reuters) - The last fighters of Colombia's most feared paramilitary militia, the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, blamed for the killing of thousands of civilians, laid down their weapons on Tuesday, the government said.

The last 1,765 members of the paramilitary army known by its Spanish initials AUC handed in their arms to the government in the town of Casibare in Meta province, central Colombia, in a ceremony presided over by government peace negotiator Luis Carlos Restrepo.

All of the AUC's 30,140 members have now handed in their arms in a demobilization that began in late 2003, said Restrepo, announcing the end of an organization classified as "terrorist" by the United States and responsible for many of the worst human rights abuses in Colombia in recent years.

"We can say that the AUC formally stopped existing today," Restrepo said.

Keyword: "formally".

Posted by Kyer at April 12, 2006 11:46 AM | TrackBack