Though there is no evidence that the Águilas Negras continue to function as a criminal group, their history of extrajudicial killings and criminal acts provides cover for others using the name of the death squad to make threats.The name Águilas Negras first emerged in 2006 after the demobilization of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia – AUC), a loose federation of right-wing paramilitary groups. The group’s leadership was ascribed to various former paramilitary commanders in the departments of Antioquia, Magdalena, Norte de Santander, and Bolivar. Among those who used its moniker included Daniel Rendon Herrera, who went on to found and lead the Urabeños, one of the main drug trafficking organizations in Colombia. Groups using the Águilas Negras name have appeared in at least 20 of Colombia’s 32 departments.
Southern Poverty Law Center
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