Black Eagles

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Black Eagles
LeadersVicente Castaño (disappeared)
Dates of operation2006–present
IdeologyFar-right politics
Battles and warsColombian Armed Conflict
Preceded by

Black Eagles (Spanish: Águilas Negras) is a term describing a series of Colombian drug trafficking, right-wing, counter-revolutionary, paramilitary organizations made up of new and preexisting paramilitary forces, who emerged from the failures of the demobilization process between 2004 and 2006, which aimed to disarm the United Self-Defense Units of Colombia (AUC).

The Black Eagles were first considered to be a third generation of paramilitary groups, but Colombian military reports suggest they are intermediaries in the drug business between the guerrilla and drug cartels outside Colombia.[1] As of 2007, they were reported active in the city of Barrancabermeja.[2]


The Black Eagles first appeared in the Norte de Santander area in 2006.[3] On 18 October 2006, President Álvaro Uribe openly ordered their detention.[4] The government ordered the creation of a new Search Bloc against the Black Eagles and classified them as a gang of former paramilitaries.[5]

The Black Eagles are one of a number of groups formed following the demilitarisation of the AUC, and are said to be closely linked with the Usuga Clan drug cartel and right-wing neo-paramilitary group.[6]


The Black Eagles are closely associated with drug cartels and are involved in drug trafficking activities, extortion, racketeering and kidnapping. They have also attacked guerrilla members and suspected sympathizers. One individual accused of leading the Black Eagles was former AUC leader Vicente Castaño.[7] Castaño later disappeared, believed to have been assassinated on the orders of Diego Murillo Bejarano in retaliation for taking control of his territory and criminal rackets.[8][9]



  1. ^ "Revista Cambio: Farc y las Águilas Negras se alían en negocios de narcotráfico en el sur de Bolívar" (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 6 October 2008.
  2. ^ Caleb Harris (12 March 2007). "Paramilitaries re-emerge in pockets of Colombia". USA Today. Associated Press. Retrieved 27 August 2012.
  3. ^ "¿Qué son las Águilas Negras?" (in Spanish). Retrieved 30 October 2012.
  4. ^ "Las 'Águilas negras', grupo conformado por desmovilizados de las autodefensas, ya azotan 5 regiones". (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 12 March 2007. Retrieved 20 August 2007.
  5. ^ Nine presumed members of the Águilas Negras captured,; accessed 20 August 2007.(in Spanish)
  6. ^ Michael Deibert (June 2010). "Amid Elections, Armed Groups Hold Colombian Town under the Gun". Inter Press Service. Retrieved 18 February 2013.
  7. ^ "Vicente Castaño estaría detrás de las 'Águilas Negras'" (in Spanish). El Pais. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 20 August 2007.
  8. ^ "Vicente Castaño". Colombia Reports Profiles. 23 October 2018. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  9. ^ "Vicente Castaño: dead". Cambio (in Spanish). November 2, 2008. Archived from the original on February 27, 2012. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  10. ^ 27 alleged members of 'Los Rastrojos' gang arrested Colombia Reports, 24 November 2010
  11. ^ Romero, Simon (3 March 2011). "In Colombia, New Gold Rush Fuels Old Conflict". The New York Times.
  12. ^ ""New" paramilitaries, all over the map". Plan Colombia and Beyond. 18 July 2007. Archived from the original on 27 May 2007.

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