Saturday, August 18, 2012

BACRIMs, Colombia's "New" Nightmare

Ever heard of Águilas Negras, Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia, Banda Criminal de Urabá, Los Urabeños, Los Machos, Los Paisas, Renacer, Nueva Generación, Los Rastrojos, ERPAC, Cordillera, Cacique Pipintá, Grupo de Martín Llanos, Los Nevados or La oficina de Envigado? They're Colombian BACRIMs. BACRIM, a term strategically coined by former president Uribe to be used instead of paramilitaries, stands for Bandas Criminales Emergentes that translates as Emerging Criminal Gangs. Some foreign NGO's use the acronym NIAG (New Illegal Armed Group) or call them neo-paramilitary groups. These "new" groups are mostly composed of former members of  paramilitary groups (AUC) that were demobilized since 2006 and virtually granted amnesty by the administration of former President Álvaro Uribe for all their atrocities. Now BACRIMs are growing rapidly and spreading all over the country, because new sources of income were found. They're called "el nuevo enemigo" (the new enemy) in Colombia.