Clad in camouflage uniforms and carrying assault rifles, the fighters led by a commander with the nom de guerre Rodrigo hid in a village nestled amid lush green mountains and prepared for battle. This time, however, the Colombian paramilitary fighters were getting ready to face former paramilitary friends instead of their traditional rebel foes. The country’s paramilitary umbrella group – the right-wing United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, or AUC – has threatened to attack Rodrigo’s smaller paramilitary faction if he refuses to participate in a cease-fire and ongoing peace talks with the government. The armed standoff, which could pit Colombia’s outlawed paramilitary groups against one another, is threatening to widen Colombia’s civil war. “In this war we are prepared to die for our ideals, even if we must fight against those who were once our allies,” Rodrigo said, refusing to join peace talks. Full Story
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