RealNews

Colombia disarms militiamen

Nearly 800 members of the main right-wing paramilitary group in Colombia are laying down their weapons in the city of Medellin. The demobilisation by fighters of the United Self-Defence Forces of Colombia (AUC) is being seen as the first stage in a broader peace process. The group has said its 13,000 men will all disarm by the end of 2005. The paramilitaries have been a major force in Colombia’s civil war since the 1980s, fighting left-wing rebels. The AUC – like the leftist FARC and ELN – is on the United States’ list of terrorist organisations. The Americans have repeatedly asked for the extradition of the group’s leader, Carlos Castano. Full Story

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