Vicente Castaño

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Vicente Castaño Gil
Nickname(s) "El Profe"
Born Amalfi, Antioquia
Allegiance United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC)
Rank Bloc commander and United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia leader
Unit Peasant Self-Defense Forces of Cordoba and Uraba

José Vicente Castaño Gil aka El Profe (born July 2, 1957) is a Colombian paramilitary former leader of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), a right-wing Colombian paramilitary organization. After demobilizing, he was accused of murdering his brother and former AUC leader Carlos Castaño and of narcotics trafficking by both the Colombian government and the government of the United States. In August 2004, the United States formally requested his extradition. Castaño remains, however, a fugitive and is the presumed chief of the criminal organization Águilas Negras made up of former AUC paramilitary members.[1]


Early life[edit]

Castaño was born July 2, 1957 in Amalfi, a small village in the Antioquia Department in central Colombia. He was the sixth among twelve siblings of a family of farmers. When he was 12 years old he dropped out from school to help his father on farming duties. At the age of 18 years old he left the village and went to neighboring Venezuela where he also worked on farming for two years. Back in Colombia, Castaño worked with his brother Fidel Castaño in many businesses including a pub, gold exchange in Segovia, Antioquia, and farming. They later moved to Medellín where they incurred in the lottery business.

Father's death[edit]

Castaño's father died on September 18, 1981 at the hands of the FARC-EP, a leftist rebel organization. The FARC had kidnapped the elder Castaño and demanded a ransom of 150 million pesos.[citation needed]


Vicente Castaño is the brother of Fidel Castaño, a leader of Los Pepes and the founder of Peasant Self-Defense Forces of Córdoba and Urabá and Carlos Castaño Gil, who led the AUC until his death. Vicente has been accused of ordering Carlos' death.


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