(Bogotá) - Colombia needs to respond effectively to the violent groups committing human rights abuses that have emerged around the country in the aftermath of the flawed demobilization of paramilitary groups, Human Rights Watch says in a report released today.
The 122-page report, "Paramilitaries' Heirs: The New Face of Violence in Colombia," documents widespread and serious abuses by successor groups to the paramilitary coalition known as the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia, AUC). The successor groups regularly commit massacres, killings, forced displacement, rape, and extortion, and create a threatening atmosphere in the communities they control. Often, they target human rights defenders, trade unionists, victims of the paramilitaries who are seeking justice, and community members who do not follow their orders. The report is accompanied by a multimedia presentation that includes photos and audio of some of the Colombians targeted by the successor groups.
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