Carlos Castaño

Carlos CastañO

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Carlos Castaño

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Carlos Castaño Gil (May 16, 1965 - April 16, 2004) was the founder of the Peasant Self-Defense Forces of Córdoba and Urabá (ACCU), an extreme right paramilitary organization in Colombia. Castaño and his brothers Fidel and Vicente founded this group (and its previous incarnations) after their father was kidnapped and killed by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), in association with other enemies or victims of the guerrillas. The ACCU later became one of the founding members of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC).

AUC leader



In a 1996 interview with writer Robin Kirk, later published in More Terrible Than Death: Massacres, Drugs and America's War in Colombia (PublicAffairs: New York, 2003), Castaño acknowledged that the men under his command committed 'excesses', but defended them as necessary in Colombia's conflict. "Look, the guerrillas hide themselves within the civilian population, they manipulate the population". In a September 1997 interview in El Tiempo newspaper, Castaño admitted responsibility for the Mapiripán massacre.

In 1997, Castaño later founded anumbrella organization of paramilitaries operating in Colombia known as the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC). The AUC is currently fighting a brutal war against the FARC in which many civilians have been killed. The AUC has been accused by human rights organizations of committing atrocities,...
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